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Retail

Walmart Canada To Charge For Plastic Bags From February

Walmart Canada has announced that from February 9, it will no longer provide free plastic bags to shoppers, as it tries to promote the use of reusable bags and eliminate plastic film from landfills.

Walmart’s Canadian customers will be encouraged to use reusable bags, which it will sell for 25 cents, while regular plastic bags will also be available for 5 cents.

Lee Tappenden, chief operations officer at Walmart Canada, explained that while the company recognises that it is asking customers to change their shopping practices, it believes that removing plastic film from its ‘waste stream’ is key to reaching its environmental goals.

He added, "We know from our experience in other international markets that an incentive, in the form of a fee to encourage customers to adopt reusable bags, reduces single-use plastic bags by more than 50 per cent."

Walmart Canada also plans to improve its in-store recycling and collection programmes, while working with its suppliers to find new ways of removing plastic from its packaging processes.

"Recent internal research has identified that our customers feel we use too many plastic bags and that the reduction and elimination of plastic bags are the responsibility of both consumers and retailers," explained Tappenden.

"While we recognize our ultimate goal of eliminating plastic film from our operations altogether won’t happen overnight, we believe our customers are open to supporting this goal by switching to reusable bags."

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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