Is Wal-Mart Getting Rid of Plastic Bags in September?
The other day, I was sitting on the couch, reading a book online. Don't worry, it wasn't anything enriching or educational. Just a trashy story about detectives with amnesia or something. So anyway, I was reading away when Husbando gets my attention and points to his phone.
"Wal-Mart is getting rid of plastic bags by September."
"Oh? Where'd you hear that?"
"I'll send you the link."
He did, and here it is. Now. I work half in the opinion world, and half in the news world. I wouldn't necessarily recommend clicking that link. It's not corrupt or anything (I would NEVER let that go through) but it's one of those clickbait type of sites. A ton of unnecessary pictures, a ton of ads, and frankly, it sets off quite a few of my "fake news" triggers. There's no last name to the author (accountability issue), no date to the article (attribution issue), and honestly they're a little fast and loose with actual facts. But here's the gist: They're saying that Wal-Mart is going to get rid of plastic bags and implement more sustainable, reusable ones by September.
However, this site has made a bit of leap with the facts to get your clicks. You can read what's really happening in the press release from Wal Mart itself straight from them here if you want.
What they're actually doing is trying to move away from using the plastic bags, yes. But nowhere do they say they're removing them all together, and they're not doing anything anytime soon. Wal Mart's people were very careful in how they worded their release. They say things like "alternatives", "reinvent", and "solutions". What I would gather at it, looking objectively, is that they're going to start encouraging more reusable bags and trying to phase out the plastic ones.
The bare fact of the matter is Wal-Mart (along with Target and CVS) is working on the Beyond The Bag Challenge, which, again, according to the news release, says this:
The Challenge invites innovators, suppliers, designers and problem-solvers to submit their ideas for game-changing sustainable bag solutions, with an initial focus on implementation in the United States.
However. This is a three year project, and it started on August 3rd of 2020. Look at the date on the press release. Last year. Where did Husbando get September? That was the deadline for the design submissions from the public, and the "news" site not dating their post... makes it confusing and easy to misunderstand. That keeps it clickbaity for years. Since there's no date, you can't tell this happened last year, and makes people keep sharing it, thinking it's breaking news.
The truth is, most of the project is to design the alternative. It doesn't say anything about what they'll do or when they'll actually do it once the design is finalized. They're just participating in the challenge. So this, sounds to me like a safe way for them to start to try to be more environmentally responsible. They're taking baby steps.
Frankly, I think it's a good idea to get rid of the dang bags. Sure, they're convenient for a minute, but they break super easy. Only a small amount of them gets recycled, and even according to Wal-Mart, they only last you about twelve minutes. Yeah, you can re-use them in your small garbage can in the living room, but other than that? They're just sitting in a Tupperware in the pantry. I much prefer the re-usable bags I have bought from Wal-Mart and Aldi and other places. You know they're not going to have some strange cut from getting unboxed, they're not so thin that that the handles break, and you can actually carry more stuff. And as a household that does NOT make a second trip back to the car to get more groceries, I am all about bigger bags that are easy to transport.
So, the short answer to the question: "Is Wal-Mart Getting Rid of Their Plastic Bags?" is... eventually. Probably at least years down the line, maybe longer. But now? No.