Targeting zero waste
Our aspirational goal of achieving zero waste across our global operations is bold, but we continue to make measurable progress. In the U.S., more than 81% of the materials that flow through our stores, clubs, distribution centers is being diverted from landfills. Our operations in Japan and the U.K. lead the way with a diversion rate of more than 90%, while Walmart Canada and Walmart Mexico divert more than 70%.
We are looking closer than ever at how and with whom we work around the world. In addition to identifying associates who will lead these programs in each of our markets, we plan to enhance the people, processes and data we use across all geographies. This will increase the speed, consistency and reach of our pursuit of zero waste.
Plastic shopping bags
One-time-use shopping bags represent a tremendous opportunity to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. Through a variety of initiatives in each of the markets we serve around the world, Walmart reduced plastic bag waste by more than 38% by the end of 2013, compared to our 2007 baseline. That represents a reduction of 10 billion bags annually.
We all know the 3 “R’s” of sustainability – reduce, reuse and recycle. At Walmart, there’s a fourth “R” – rethink. By working with our suppliers, we’re developing product packaging solutions that cut unnecessary waste and save our customers money. These are a few recent examples:
- U.K.: In 2013, our operations in the United Kingdom introduced a lighter version of its private-label Eden Falls water bottles. The new 500-milliliter and 2-liter water bottles are 6% and 13% lighter, respectively.
- Japan: By developing non-tray packaging for meats and seafood, and introducing a corn-based bio-plastic wrap for 37% of its packaged produce, Walmart Japan has reduced the total weight of trays by 25.5% since 2007.
Part of our commitment to doing business responsibly includes considering the entire life cycle of the products we sell. We have partnered with leading organizations to make proper recycling of used electronics as convenient as possible for our Walmart, Sam’s Club and online customers in the U.S.
Smartphone and Tablet Trade-In Program
In 2013, Walmart began a smartphone trade-in program at more than 3,600 U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs — making trading up to the newest smartphone easier and less expensive. In partnership with CExhange, the trade-in program offers an immediate credit from $50 to $300 for more than 100 smartphones, and we project it will keep hundreds of thousands of smartphones out of landfills annually. In addition, we’ve also begun a tablet trade-in program. Customers looking to trade in electronics like MP3 players, video games, cameras, laptops and more can turn “gadgets to gift cards” on Walmart.com. For details, visit: www.walmart.com/gadgetstogiftcards.