Walmart Canada pilots circular economy reusable bag program in Guelph, Ontario

Aug. 12, 2022

2 Min. Read

By Gaurav Gupta, Director, ESG, Walmart Canada

Customers in Guelph, Ontario can now participate in the circular economy when they shop with Walmart thanks to a new reusable bag solution.

In-store GOATOTE kiosks allow customers to check out clean reusable bags for a fee, use them for up to one month, and return them to be cleaned, sanitized and then put back into circulation within the kiosk.

This is a really exciting moment for us: it’s been almost exactly a year since we introduced a 10-store pilot to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags, including a location in Guelph, and only four months since that initiative rolled out across the country.

Since the roll-out began in January 2022, we’ve prevented nearly 200M single-use plastic bags from entering circulation. And we’re not stopping there - we’re building on that momentum to test and learn as we continue on our journey to become a regenerative company.

What is the circular economy?

Eliminating single-use plastic shopping bags, as we did in April 2022, is only part of the solution as we all work to be more sustainable. Circular economy solutions, like the GOATOTE option we’re testing in our Guelph stores, focus on eliminating waste and recovering as much value as possible from the goods we use. This means reusing and repairing items while they’re in use and then upcycling or recycling once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan.

Introducing GOATOTE kiosks into our Guelph stores provides our customers with more choice in how they carry out their purchases when they shop with us and provides us with an opportunity to test this concept for broader use.

This is a great option for customers who are still learning to bring reusable options from home when they shop, or who simply prefer the option to take as many bags as they need and return them later.

Here’s how it works:

  • Customers take as many reusable bags as they need for their shopping trip from the GOATOTE kiosk in-store, paying $1 per use or $3 per month for unlimited access.
  • Use the bags for your shopping trip (and throughout the month, if you’d like).
  • Return the bags within 30 days to the kiosk
  • GOATOTE cleans and quality checks each bag before returning it to the kiosk to be used again.

As we continue on our journey to becoming a regenerative company, we’re focused on testing innovative solutions that help to make the sustainable choice the easy, affordable choice.
See more information about GOATOTE here.