Thursday 23 March 2023

Walmart to Charge Customers 42 Cents Per Shopping Bag Starting March 28 to Tackle Climate Crisis

 On March 28, 2023, Walmart will begin charging 42 cents per bag for delivery orders and 10 cents per bag for pickup or in-store purchases in the state of New Jersey.

However,  some plastic bags, such as those used in the following situations, are exempt from the prohibition on single-use bags:

  • Bags used solely for wrapping uncooked meat, fish or poultry
  • Bags used solely for containing loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee or baked goods
  • Bags used solely for delivering newspapers
  • Laundry or dry-cleaning bags
  • Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage or pet waste bags.

This move is part of Walmart’s efforts to comply with New Jersey’s ban on single-use plastic shopping bags that took effect on May 4, 2022.

“New Jersey retail stores, grocery stores and food service businesses may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products. Single-use paper carryout bags are allowed to be provided or sold, except by grocery stores equal to or larger than 2500 square feet, which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags. After November 4, 2021, plastic straws may be provided only upon the request of the customer,” according to the law.

The prohibition was put in place to combat climate change by decreasing plastic pollution and increasing the use of reusable bags.

Several other states have also prohibited single-use plastics like California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont to reduce pollution.

The Sun reported:

On January 1, all Walmart stores in Colorado stopped the use of paper and plastic bags.

And as of January 18, no New York or Connecticut locations are able to provide single-use bags.

But, Walmart isn’t the only retailer banning single-use bags – Kroger also eliminated them in Virginia back in October.

New York-based grocery store, Wegmans, also banned single-use plastic bags at its Virginia and North Carolina locations.

The store will offer paper bags to shoppers – however, it comes at a cost of five cents apiece.

Meanwhile, Aldi already removed plastic bags from about 500 stores with the goal to phase them out at all 2,200 locations.

According to the Guardian, Walmart has made numerous environmental commitments in recent years. It started “Project Gigaton” in 2017 with the goal of reducing its supply chain’s carbon emissions by 1 billion metric tons by 2030.

“As a retailer with operations in more than two dozen countries and sourcing that spans the globe, Walmart is deeply committed to addressing climate change. We’re focused on strengthening business resilience, advocating for climate action and targeting zero emissions across our global operations by 2040, without relying on carbon offsets,” Walmart said in a statement.

“It’s extraordinary,” said Michael Vandenbergh, co-director of the Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law School. “What we’re talking about is one of the largest and most conservative companies in the world making a range of commitments that government is not requiring them to make.”

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