Walmart Shopper Uncovers the Truth About the Retail Giant’s Massive Environmental Impact

In today’s age of environmental consciousness, it’s shocking to see how some of the biggest corporations still contribute to the problem of plastic waste.

One such instance is Walmart’s pick-up service, which, as many users have pointed out, has a penchant for using one plastic bag per item.

This practice contradicts the global push towards reducing plastic consumption and raises questions about the company’s commitment to sustainability.

A Single Item, A Single Bag

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A shopper highlighted this issue by sharing their experience with Walmart’s pick-up service. They pointed out that even for individual items like a single tape, Walmart used a separate bag.

Such practices are wasteful and contribute significantly to the growing plastic pollution problem.

Customers’ Outcry

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Many people also shared their similar experiences. One mentioned how they always request as few bags as possible, only to receive each item in its separate bag.

Someone who previously worked at Walmart shared that while employees are trained not to mix chemicals with food, the excessive use of bags for other items is unnecessary and wasteful.

Possible Reasons Behind the Waste

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Several people speculated on the reasons behind this excessive use of plastic bags. Some believe it might be a company-wide policy, while others think it’s a way for Walmart to deplete its stock of plastic bags, especially in states where there’s a move to charge or eliminate plastic bags.

The Historical Context of Plastic Production

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Plastics derived from fossil fuels have existed for just over a century. Their production and the development of new plastic products skyrocketed post World War II, revolutionizing various sectors, from medicine to space travel.

However, the convenience offered by plastics led to a throw-away culture. Today, single-use plastics account for 40% of the plastic produced annually. Many of these, like plastic bags and food wrappers, have a short lifespan but can persist in the environment for centuries.

The Alarming Statistics Behind Plastic Production

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Half of all plastics ever manufactured were produced in the last 15 years. From 2.3 million tons in 1950, plastic production surged to 448 million tons by 2015 and is expected to double by 2050.

Approximately 8 million tons of plastic waste from coastal nations enters the oceans annually. This is equivalent to placing five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline globally.

Plastics often contain additives to enhance their properties, but these can also prolong their life when they become litter. Some plastics can take at least 400 years to degrade.

The Global Impact of Plastic Pollution

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Plastic trash is not just a problem for developing nations with inefficient garbage collection systems. Developed countries, especially those with low recycling rates, also grapple with managing discarded plastics.

Once in the ocean, plastics break down into microplastics and spread throughout the water column. These microplastics have been discovered everywhere, from Mount Everest’s highest peak to the Mariana Trench’s deepest trench.

Plastics severely impact wildlife. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, have been affected. Many animals, from birds to marine creatures, ingest plastics, leading to entanglement, starvation, and death.

Corporate Initiatives to Combat Plastic Pollution

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More than 40 companies, including giants like Coca-Cola and Asda, have pledged to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years. These firms have joined the UK Plastics Pact, a collaborative effort that includes the government, trade associations, and campaigners.

The signatories of this pact are responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. One of the key commitments is to ensure that 100% of plastic packaging is ready for recycling or composting by 2025.

The pact, led by the sustainability campaign group WRAP, aims to create a circular economy for plastics, focusing on innovation, better packaging design, and end-of-use systems. This initiative is not only beneficial for the environment but also presents a significant economic opportunity.

The Need for Collective Action

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The solution to the overwhelming problem of plastic pollution lies in preventing plastic waste from entering the environment in the first place. This can be achieved through improved waste management and recycling systems, better product design that considers the short life of disposable packaging, and reducing the manufacturing of unnecessary single-use plastics.

Corporations play a pivotal role in this solution. Their commitment to sustainable practices, from production to disposal, can significantly reduce the plastic footprint.

As consumers, it’s crucial to support businesses that prioritize environmental responsibility and advocate for stricter plastic production and waste management regulations.

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Sources

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Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/plastic-pollution
  2. bbc.com/news/business-43901328
  3. reddit.com/r/Anticonsumption/comments/z87mqn/walmart_pickup_basically_used_one_bag_per_item/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.