Walmart announced this morning that it will reduce plastic use across its e-commerce operations in a variety of ways, including switching from plastic mailers to recyclable paper bag mailers and allowing customers to opt out of using plastic shopping bags for their online pickup orders, among other things. To cut down on waste, it will also give online shoppers the opportunity to ask that their purchases be put into fewer boxes.
Following Amazon’s Footsteps
A similar choice was made available by e-commerce rival Amazon in 2019 with its Amazon Day Delivery service, which lets customers choose one day per week to receive their Amazon orders. By the conclusion of the current fiscal year, according to Walmart, the changes to the mailers alone would remove 65 million plastic bag mailers from circulation, or more than 2,000 tonnes of plastic. Their Online Orders from Stores and Fulfilment Centres as well as any other orders dispatched through WFS are the only ones covered by this initiative.
While not needed, third-party merchants on Walmart’s Marketplace can choose to use WFS. Additionally, They are not committing to a full shift, only which “nearly all orders shipped in plastic mailers” from its stores, marketplace products, and fulfilment centers will be impacted, but not “all orders.”
New Options for Customers
Following prior testing, Walmart will also stop requiring customers to collect their pickup orders in disposable plastic shopping bags. Based on early uptake, the shop predicts that this choice will result in the annual removal of millions of single-use bags. The option will be implemented gradually throughout the United States in 2023, with year-end completion anticipated.
Walmart had been trying to use less single-use bags before this move, and recently expanded to four more areas in accordance with regional laws, including Delaware, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Washington state. There will be no single-use bags available at the front desk or during pickup in these areas, increasing the total number of states where bags are no longer available to 10.