A Reddit post highlighted the continued deluge of single-use plastic bags used by supermarkets like Walmart despite repeated calls to stem the flow of plastic waste.
The Redditor describes their horror when they went to open their home delivery and found that, out of 10 items bought, eight came individually wrapped in a plastic bag.
This was the first time the Redditor had used Walmart’s home delivery service after getting a free Walmart+ membership with their credit card.
Single-use packaging, which includes plastic bags, is the largest contributor to the world’s plastic waste problem.
John Hocevar, oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA, told Food Print that supermarkets are where consumers often encounter single-use plastics.
Most supermarkets — including Walmart — are falling short of the efforts needed to eradicate plastic waste.
Walmart scored 18.10 out of a potential 100 for their attempts to cut plastic, according to a 2021 Greenpeace report. Yet they still ranked seventh out of 20 supermarkets overall — a sign of meager efforts to replace plastic across the industry.
Walmart has set a goal of eliminating PVC and polystyrene packaging by 2025. They have banned the use of single-use plastic bags in some states, such as New Jersey, in line with statewide legislation.
But Greenpeace points out that Walmart has not committed to eradicating single-use plastics completely, opting to focus more on recyclability.
Redditors have recommended Walmart’s curbside option, in which customers can opt to go without plastic bags. But how much this service reduces plastic waste is questionable.
“I opted to use my own bags at pick up one time & still ended up with items in Walmart bags,” one user grumbled.
“I’ve been so frustrated over the years with this too,” another Redditor agreed. “I realized it’s not Walmart, or any of the stores — it just depends on the individual person bagging the items.”
“Walmart worker here. The reason why is because we pick for multiple orders at the same time, which unfortunately leads to lots of items just being put into separate bags in the order bins,” another user explained. “I hate it too.”
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