Big change for a big chain.
Tri-City residents who favour Walmart as their go-to shopping centre are now being encouraged to bring their own reusable bags after the national company announced it's eliminating "unnecessary" single-use plastic bags.
On Friday (April 22) — also Earth Day — Walmart Canada announced the incoming change to its more than 400 stores by the end of April, which is set to stop roughly 680 million plastic bags from production each year.
This includes its two locations in the Tri-City region:
Local customers won't see any plastic bags for their groceries at checkout when they shop in store, or when they pick-up online orders.
However, Walmart said there will be some exceptions for, including available bags, for bulk items, meat, fish and produce, as well as plastic bags for items "already packaged by means of industrial processing."
It follows a pilot project that saw single-use plastic shopping bags eliminated from 10 stories across the country in August 2021.
The public's response to the program was positive in that span, according to Walmart president and CEO Horacio Barbeito.
"Eliminating plastic shopping bags is a significant milestone on our journey to becoming a regenerative company – and it’s the right thing to do," he said in a news release.
"We know this is important for our associates and our customers. I’m so proud of our team for taking this step, the most recent in a series of significant changes to ensure we’re doing right by our associates, customers and the planet and leading the way when it comes to regenerative practices."
Walmart is said to be one of the largest grocery retailers in Canada to make the change, which will be done in a phased approach this week.
Other companies that have switched to reusable and/or paper bags only include Sobeys and FreshCo.
For more information, you can visit Walmart's website.