Wal-Mart Goes on a Plastic Diet: 9 Million Plastic Bags to Be Eliminated From Waste Stream

wal-mart storefront photo

photo: Jim

Another significant environmental commitment coming out of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting comes from an seemingly unlikely paring: The Environmental Defense Fund and Wal-Mart.

Announced in the Metropolitan Ballroom by President Bill Clinton, who was keen to point out the odd-couple nature of the situation, the Global Plastic Shopping Bag Commitment stands to make a serious dent in the plastic shopping bag waste by big box mega-retailer Wal-Mart. How much waste will be avoided:One-Third Per Store Plastic Bag Reduction by 2013
Granted the qualifying word "potentially" prefaced this next figure in the public announcement, but this commitment could eliminate 9 million plastic shopping bags per year from Wal-Mart stores. To do this EDF will help Wal-Mart develop strategies for recycling, reusing and reducing the use of plastic bags in its stores by an average of one-third per store, from 2008 levels, by 2013.

An estimated 290,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and energy consumption equal to 678,000 barrels of oil will be eliminated through this action.

Specific Measures That EDF Will Be Taking
Proving scientific advice to Wal-Mart on the environmental impact of plastic bag use, as well as quantifying the carbon footprint of alternative bags and packing options.

Assist in developing educational materials for Wal-Mart customers.

Evaluating Wal-Mart projections for program's environmental benefits.

Monitor and assess the project's progress.

:: Clinton Global Initiative
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