Walmart Is Getting Rid of Plastic and Paper Bags at 111 More Locations, as of April 18
The stores will be completely bagless, meaning paper bags are on the chopping block as well.
It's no secret that retailers are working to become more sustainable. Big-names like Kohl's, Home Depot, and CVS, have outlined their commitment to being environmentally conscious, including steps they're taking to reduce their impact. Walmart is no different: The retail giant has a goal to produce zero emissions across its global operations by 2040. As part of its eco-aware initiatives, Walmart has also done away with single-use plastic and paper bags at certain stores—and come April 18, over 100 more stores will be without plastic and paper bags, the company just confirmed. Read on to find out where they're being eliminated and why.
Walmarts in Washington are going bagless.
Walmart shoppers in Washington will want to grab their reusable bags because in-state stores are doing away with plastic and paper at checkout, per a press release provided to Best Life. According to Walmart's store directory, there are 66 stores in Washington state.
"Beginning Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Walmart stores in Washington will no longer provide plastic bags at checkout or pickup, encouraging customers to use reusable bags or containers," the press release reads. While paper bags are also getting the boot, they'll still be used if your groceries are delivered, the company said.
In the release, Jane Ewing, senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability, said this is in line with Walmart's "effort to reduce waste at our stores and keep Washington communities and ecosystems clean."
She added, "Our Washington customers want to be engaged on this journey, and Walmart is committed to making the sustainable choice convenient and accessible every day."
Walmart is ahead of the game.
Walmart is getting rid of all bags, aside from its branded reusable options.
However, under Washington law, certain plastic and paper bags are still permitted. In Oct. 2021, Washington did away with the standard single-use plastic, but stores are still allowed to sell thicker, reusable plastic bags and large paper carryout bags for 8 cents each, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.
It's worth noting that produce bags are excluded from the state ban. These single-use bags will still be available for your fruits, veggies, and raw meat to "prevent food contamination or as required by law," Walmart confirmed.
And if you forget your bags when shopping in April, not all hope is lost. To make the transition easier for customers, Walmart said that stores will "continue to offer a wide array of reusable bags and containers throughout stores and at checkout areas for purchase," including its 74-cent reusable option.
Oregon is getting rid of bags as well.
Walmart stores in Oregon will also be "bagless" on April 18, according to a separate press release provided to Best Life. Just like in Washington, plastic and paper bags will be removed from checkout and pickup. Deliveries, however, will still be made in paper bags and those single-use produce bags will continue to be available.
Oregon banned single-use plastic bags in Jan. 2020, but like Washington, stores are still permitted to sell paper bags (for 5 cents each) and reusable plastic bags. In Oregon, too, if you forget your bags, your only option will be to purchase Walmart-branded reusable bags.
In the press release announcing Oregon's "bagless" initiative, Ewing said, "We are committed to making the sustainable choice accessible and convenient for Oregonians, so that together we can reduce waste every day."
Per Walmart's store locator, there are a total of 45 Walmart stores in Oregon.
Walmarts in six states are already completely "bagless."
In July 2020, Walmart announced an environmental initiative to "reinvent the plastic bag," moving closer to its zero-waste goal.
As of Jan. 2023, both single-use plastic and paper bags have been removed from Walmart stores in Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, and Connecticut, according to the press release. Stores in Canada and Mexico are bagless as well.