Walmart testing alternatives to plastic bags

Northwest Arkansas News

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart is working toward getting rid of plastic bags and using a more environmental-friendly shopping bag, according to a post on the company’s corporate blog.

The Bentonville-based retailer started working last year toward alternatives as they began collaborating with CVS Health, Target and other retailers to commit to an industry-wide change from the traditional plastic bag.

The journey to go “Beyond the Bag” has seen progress as a variety of Walmart stores are testing new alternatives using “the intersection of new technology and sustainability,” according to the post.

At a store in Mountain View, California, associates led a potential solution called “GOATOTE.” With “GOATOTE,” shoppers use an app to checkout reusable bags for free, as long as they are returned within 30 days. If customers want to keep a bag, it will cost $2.00.

“The way I talk about technology is this: We can be the difference,” store manager Renardo Page said of Walmart. “If we play our part, we can help roll something out to the nearly 5,000 stores in our company where we can lead — we can truly innovate.”

The future of alternatives could be on the immediate horizon as the Mountain View store is not the only location creating unique solutions.

In Santa Clara, California, a Walmart store came up with “Fill it Forward,” which is also a mobile app that connects a tag to reusable bag customers already own. When customers use their bag, they garner points. The points then convert to a dollar amount that gets pushed back to a local organization, which, in this case, is Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley.

“I learned that people can actually not waste shopping bags. They can use a reusable bag, not waste plastic and give back to the community all at once,” store manager Mike De Castro said.

Some of the company’s stores have moved beyond testing and all ready gone bagless. Specifically, in Maine and Vermont.

By choosing to go bagless in Maine and Vermont, we’re learning a lot that we can share with other regions. And though these transitions come with a learning curve for customers and associates, they’ve also shown that Walmart customers have a deep desire to do the right thing by our planet, and our collective future.

Jane Ewing, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Walmart

The blog post said that Walmart is encouraged by the progress in these markets, and the innovative solutions store pioneers continue to offer. The results from these tests and feedback on stores that have all ready gone bagless will help future efforts to make all stores completely bagless and move toward a “cleaner, more sustainable future.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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