Wal-Mart goal: cut plastic bags by one third
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, September 25, 2008
New York – Taking advantage of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting here today, mega-retailer Wal-Mart at the forum set a goal of reducing its plastic shopping bag wasted worldwide by 33% per store, within five years.
“This is expected to eliminate more than 135 million pounds of plastic waste globally,” the company said, specifically committing to “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.”
Matt Kistler, svp for sustainability of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., said, “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." He said the measures outlined could “eliminate plastic waste equivalent to 9 billion plastic bags per year from our existing stores alone.”
Gwen Ruta, vp for corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense Fund, a partner in the effort, said, “Plastic bags clog our landfills, litter our roadways, harm sea turtles and other wildlife, and gobble energy in production. With this initiative, Wal-Mart is demonstrating that innovation leads to both business and environmental benefits -- a premise that underpins EDF’s work. I look to retailers everywhere to do the same.”
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