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Wal-Mart looks to reduce plastic bag waste by 33%


NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores reported this week that it intends to reduce its global plastic shopping bag waste by an average of 33% per store by 2013. This is expected to eliminate more than 135 million pounds of plastic waste globally. To help reach this goal, Wal-Mart will reduce the number of bags given out by its stores, encourage the use of reusable bags and give customers the ability to continue recycling plastic shopping bags. The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.

"By reducing the number of plastic bags our customers use, increasing the availability and affordability of reusable bags and providing recycling solutions, we think we can eliminate plastic waste equivalent to 9 billion plastic bags per year from our existing stores alone," said Matt Kistler, senior vp for sustainability of Wal-Mart Stores. "If we can encourage consumers to change their behavior, just one bag at a time, we believe real progress can be made toward our goal of creating zero waste."

Wal-Mart's comprehensive bag reduction strategy is being developed in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund.

As part of the goal to reduce plastic bag waste, Wal-Mart stores in Mexico and the U.S. are introducing new, more affordable reusable bags. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart de Mexico introduced reusable bags at one-third the cost of its current bags. In the United States, Walmart will offer reusable bags beginning in October for 50 cents each.


Wal-Mart's commitment to reduce plastic bag waste globally by 33% includes a 25% reduction from U.S. stores and a 50% reduction from our international operations. Across the globe, Wal-Mart and its subsidiaries have the flexibility to meet this goal through a three-pronged strategy of reduce, reuse and recycle.

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