Walmart announced June 1 that it would be adopting new measures to reduce the amount of packaging waste associated with its online orders. The retailer hopes its new initiatives will eliminate more than 2,000 tons of plastic waste and believes this will help the company achieve its zero-emissions goal by 2040.
Almost all orders from Walmart fulfillment centers will now arrive in recyclable paper bag mailers, which the company thinks will eliminate the circulation of 65 million plastic bags by the end of the 2023 fiscal year.
Additionally, Walmart customers across the U.S. will have the option to opt out of single-use plastic bags when getting their online pickup orders. The organization expects to roll out this option at all Walmart locations in the U.S. by the end of 2023. Customers will also soon be able to consolidate multiple items into fewer boxes, reducing waste and the number of shipments the business needs to make.
Walmart will cut back on the amount of cardboard it uses to ship products by offering right-size packaging services at roughly half of the company’s fulfillment centers. This technology will create packages that are custom-fitted to a person’s order reducing waste from oversized boxes by as much as 26%.
Lastly, Walmart will begin utilizing artificial intelligence to identify when orders can be fulfilled at stores rather than fulfillment centers, decreasing the number of miles delivery people must drive as well as the number of boxes needed for shipping.
“Our commitment to regeneration is core to who we are and how we innovate at Walmart. Customers have told us how excited they are about these enhancements to make it easier for them to make more sustainable choices that support the planet and the next generation,” said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president of Fulfillment Network Operations for Walmart U.S.
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