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Walmart Canada expands its plastic reduction initiative

  • Five-cent plastic bag fee to discourage single use bags and eliminate plastic film from municipal land-fill to be implemented at Walmart stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec during the month of May

Mississauga, ON, April 28, 2016 – Walmart Canada today announced the expansion of its plastic bag-reduction initiative, which includes the introduction of a five-cent plastic bag fee on all single-use plastic bags. The initiative began in British Columbia on February 9 and will expand to Walmart stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec during the month of May, 2016. Dates for Atlantic Canada will be announced in the coming months.

Working towards zero waste has been a top priority for Walmart Canada for several years. To this end, the company established 12 dedicated waste-diversion programs for products ranging from cardboard to paint, increasing its waste-diversion rate to 80 per cent in 2015. Since launching the initiative in BC, 19 million fewer single-use bags were used compared to the same three month period in 2015, a reduction of 76% or 152,000 kg of plastic, which is the weight of approximately 120 small cars.

 “While we’re making strides, we recognize the critical role our customers, suppliers and our partners play in reducing waste,” said Lee Tappenden, chief operations officer at Walmart Canada. “As part of our mission to reduce plastic film waste to create a greener, cleaner Canada, we are asking customers to move away from single-use plastic shopping bags and toward reusable bags.”

Walmart Canada customers will be provided with the option to purchase reusable, discounted bags for 25 cents or plastic bags for five cents. Walmart has improved its five-cent single-use bag to be 25 per cent bigger and 25 per cent thicker, reducing the need to double bag heavier items and lowering the total number of bags used.

Charging a nominal fee for plastic bags has proven to be a highly effective way to reduce the use of plastic bags. Walmart stores in Japan and the UK have reduced distribution of single-use bags by approximately 50 per cent. In Canada, similar programs are reporting comparable reduction rates.

To further reduce plastic waste, the company is creating more efficient in-store recycling and collection programs, working with suppliers to reduce plastic packaging and allocating part of the proceeds from the five-cent fee to plastic film recycling initiatives. 

About Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, walmart.ca is visited by 500,000 customers daily. With more than 95,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart is committed to generating zero waste, being supplied by 100 per cent renewable energy and offering customers products that are produced responsibly.  Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart has raised and donated more than $230 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca.


Alex Roberton, alex.roberton@walmart.com, 514 210 7514

Senior Director, Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada