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04/11/2022

Walmart links suppliers to sustainable packaging

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is connecting suppliers to sustainable packaging providers.

Walmart is accelerating efforts to provide sustainable packaging for products it sells.

As of April 11, 2022, the discount giant is launching the Walmart Circular Connector. The Circular Connector is designed as an online tool to link companies searching for more sustainable packaging options and those that offer them.

The Circular Connector is now available on WalmartSustainabilityHub.com for all packaging companies that are interested in submitting sustainable packaging solutions. Walmart advises participating packaging suppliers to align their submissions with Walmart’s sustainable packaging goals.

Each submission will be screened against Walmart’s sustainable packaging goals, and if aligned, will be published later in 2022 for public download on the Walmart Sustainability Hub, and made available to Walmart private brands, associates, and suppliers for their consideration.

Walmart actively pursues sustainability
Walmart engages in a number of efforts beyond packaging initiatives to support climate sustainability. For example, the discount giant is now more than halfway toward its goal to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from product supply chains by 2030 through its Project Gigaton initiative. Project Gigaton is a company-wide effort for Walmart to work with its suppliers to reduce or avoid one gigaton of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions (generated by suppliers and not the company or its energy use) from the global value chain by 2030.

[Read more: Walmart sets big new goal: Zero emissions by 2040]

In addition, the company recently joined the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC), a public-private partnership focused on reducing food waste on the U.S. West Coast. Walmart’s U.S. business has publicly committed to support and work toward PCFWC's goal to reduce and prevent food waste by 50% along the West Coast by 2030 as a climate change solution.

Walmart has also taken part in a number of corporate food sustainability initiatives. Recent examples include a commitment to begin purchasing Pacific Island Tuna (PIT) products for Walmart’s in-house brand, Great Value. Pacific Island Tuna is a new partnership between nonprofit The Nature Conservancy and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, with a portion of the profits anticipated to be directed back to Pacific Island communities. The initiative has been set up to deliver environmental, labor and traceability standards.

And Walmart Canada will purchase what the company says is the largest known quantity of beef from certified sustainable Canadian farms and ranches ever sourced by a single retailer in Canada, in accordance with sustainability standards set by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

Packaging materials to avoid
Walmart advises that some materials that are difficult to recycle and could disqualify innovations from inclusion in the Circular Connector. These materials include:

  • Metallized films
  • Multilayer materials
  • PVC or PVDC
  • EPS or PS
  • PETG in rigid plastic packaging
  • Oxo-degradable
  • Undetectable carbon black
  • Colored PET
  • Biodegradable additives in petroleum-based plastics

“We want to make it easier for sourcing teams and brand companies to quickly find sustainable packaging solutions – enabling us all to move faster together on reducing waste from our communities, our oceans and our environment,” Ashley C. Hall, director, strategic programs, Walmart, said in a corporate blog post. “And as you know, Walmart is all about driving efficiencies. With the Circular Connector, we expect the journey to become easier for brands and innovators to identify and implement more sustainable packaging solutions.”