Walmart Ending Single Use Bags In Washington State
It wasn't that long ago that the Washington State Legislature banned traditional single use plastic bags. SB 5323 went into effect in June of 2020 and set into motion the 8 cent charge for reusable plastic bags at your favorite retail checkout.
Walmart is taking that a step further. State lawmaker's reasoning for the ban was reducing pollution and specifying recycled content requirements for reusable plastic and paper bags.
In a press release from the retail giant, Senior Vice President of Walmart Sustainability Jan Ewing said "“Eliminating single-used bags is part of our effort to reduce waste at our stores and help keep Washington communities and ecosystems clean".
Beginning April 18th you will no longer be able to purchase plastic or paper bags of any kind at Walmart checkouts or receive them if you use the Walmart pickup service. They will still be used for Walmart's delivery service and in produce and other areas where food contamination could be an issue.
Believe it or not, Washington is not the first state where Walmart has removed single use bags from the checkout area. Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Connecticut stores have already stopped single-use bags and Walmart stores in Canada and Mexico no longer use them as well.
What are my options?
You can still bring your own bags in, but if you haven't noticed, the retailer began product placement last fall anticipation a move in this direction. Reusable bags with the Walmart logo are available for purchase near checkout areas and other spots around the store in an effort to encourage customers to buy those.
Washington isn't the only Northwest state impacted by Walmart's decision. The move that the company says will reduce their use of over 1 billion plastic and paper bags each year will also go into effect in Oregon on the same day.