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Walmart continues efforts to ditch plastic bags

Walmart is highlighting store initiatives to reduce plastic bag use within stores in California, Vermont and Maine.
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Walmart is continuing to push forward its efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags within its stores.

The retailer, who is part of Closed Loop Partners’ consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, recently shared how it is lessening its impact on the planet while still keeping consumers needs at the forefront.

At a store in Mountain View, Calif., the retailer piloted Goatote, an app that allows shoppers to check out reusable bags that are free if returned to the store within 30 days. Those who opt to keep the bag will be charged $2.  

[Read More: Leading retailers join forces to find single-use bag alternatives]

“Looking forward, this is all about iterating,” Anish Hazari, the principal project manager for Walmart’s Next Gen. Stores said. “Of course, we want to reach that total goal of being sustainable, and you want to be successful as you do it. But what happens moving toward that success is every time you develop and prototype a new solution, you’re getting closer and closer to that overall goal — and sometimes you may not even realize it.”

In Santa Clara, Calif., Walmart piloted a solution titled Fill It Forward, a mobile app and tag that connects to reusable bags consumers already own. With each use, customers accumulate points that are converted to a dollar amount that goes back to a local organization.

During this pilot, a 31% increase in the adoption of reusable bags was seen during its run, the company said.

[Read More: Giant Eagle to launch sustainability platform]

Lastly, the retailer shared that after a pilot in Vermont, its stores there have gone bagless and a willing customer base has transitioned entirely to reusable bags.

Maine is now the next state that is piloting stores going bagless, the company said.

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