Walmart is one of the most popular stores in the U.S., but it's not just the big box store's wide variety of offerings that have made it such a beloved shopping destination. The store's consistency—from the products it carries to its signature branding—have made it a reliable retail destination for shoppers for decades. However, the chain is about to implement a major chain in certain stores in the near future that may mean significant changes for your shopping experience. Read on to discover what may be disappearing from your local Walmart soon.
Certain Walmart stores are going bagless.
In an effort to curb waste, Walmart stores in the state of Maine will be going bagless starting next month.
"The initiative is going into place in Maine as of July 1," Charles Crowson, Walmart's director of communications for northern U.S. confirmed to Best Life.
For the latest shopping news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!
The decision follows a statewide plastic bag ordinance issued in 2020.
In 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills passed a bill strictly limiting the use of plastic bags in the New England state. Enforcement of the bill was initially intended to begin on April 22, 2020, but was pushed back to Jan. 2021 due to COVID, and once again to July 1, 2021.
The bill states that, "No retail establishment may distribute a single-use plastic shopping bag," including grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, seasonal stores, and temporary stores and markets. Stores can still provide recyclable paper bags or reusable plastic bags for five cents or more, as long as the bag is made from at least 20 percent recycled material. Stores in Maine can also continue to provide plastic produce bags, but they must also provide a receptacle for those bags to be collected for recycling.
This isn't the first state in which Walmart has gone bagless.
The decision to go bagless in Maine follows a similar plan rolled out in Vermont Walmart stores on Feb. 15, 2021.
"A similar initiative began in Vermont about six months ago and has been well-received by customers there," a Walmart spokesperson told the Ellsworth American of the plans to go bagless in Maine.
Walmart has no plans to make the changes nationwide at this point.
While Walmart's bagless stores are growing in number, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll see these changes implemented across the country anytime soon.
"This is not an initiative that is going into place nationwide," explained Crowson.
However, Walmart has teamed up with other retailers and investors to create a sustainable alternative to the conventional plastic bag.
"Because Walmart has set an aspirational zero waste goal, we have joined the 'Beyond the Bag' initiative as a Founding Partner to accelerate innovation for much-needed solutions. With funding from Walmart, Target and CVS Health, this three-year initiative is led by Closed Loop Partners with the goal of identifying, testing and implementing viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag," Anna Vinogradova, Walmart's director of sustainability said in a statement.