Walmart is removing plastic bags in Washington and Oregon

It’s no secret that retailers are working on sustainability. Big names like Kohl’s, Home Depot and CVS have indicated their commitment to being environmentally conscious, including the steps they take to reduce their impact. Walmart is no different: The retail giant has set a goal of producing zero emissions across all of its global operations by 2040. As part of its eco-conscious initiatives, Walmart has also phased out single-use plastic and paper bags in select stores — and come April 18, more than 100 stores will run out of plastic and paper bags, the company just confirmed. Read on to find out where they are eliminated and why.

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Walmart shoppers in Washington will want to grab their reusable bags as in-state stores phase out plastic and paper at checkout, according to a press release provided to Dear life. According to Walmart’s shopping list, there are 66 stores in Washington state.

“Effective Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Walmart stores in Washington will no longer provide plastic bags at checkout or pickup, encouraging customers to use reusable bags or containers,” the press release reads. While paper bags are also getting the boat, they will still be used when your groceries are delivered, the company said.

In the edition Jane Ewingsenior vice president of Walmart Sustainability, said this is consistent with Walmart’s “effort to reduce waste in our stores and keep Washington’s communities and ecosystems clean.”

She added, “Our customers in Washington want to be involved in this journey and Walmart is committed to making the sustainable choice easy and accessible every day.”

man with plastic bags of groceries

Walmart is getting rid of all bags except for the brand’s reusable options.

However, under Washington law, certain plastic and paper bags are still allowed. In October 2021, Washington abolished the standard single use plastic, but stores are still allowed thicker, reusable plastic bags and large paper carrier bags for 8 cents each, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

It is worth noting that produce bags are excluded from the state ban. These single-use bags will still be available for your fruits, vegetables and raw meats to “prevent food contamination or as required by law,” Walmart confirmed.

And if you forget your bags while shopping in April, all hope is not lost. To make the transition easier for customers, Walmart said stores “will continue to offer a wide variety of reusable bags and containers for sale in stores and at checkouts,” including the 74-cent reusable option.

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Walmart self checkout

Walmart stores in Oregon will also be “bagless” on April 18, according to a separate press release provided to Dear life. As in Washington, plastic and paper bags are removed at checkout and collection. However, deliveries will still be made in paper bags and those disposable bags will remain available.

Oregon banned single-use plastic bags in January 2020, but like Washington, stores are still allowed to sell paper bags (for 5 cents each) and reusable plastic bags. Also in Oregon, if you forget your bags, your only option is to buy Walmart branded reusable bags.

In the press release announcing Oregon’s “bagless” initiative, Ewing said, “We are committed to making the sustainable choice accessible and easy for Oregonians so that together we can reduce waste every day.”

According to Walmart’s store locator, there are a total of 45 Walmart stores in Oregon.

Orlando, FL, USA - January 25, 2022: Single use plastic shopping bags at the checkout counter in a Walmart store.

In July 2020, Walmart announced an environmental initiative to “reinvent the plastic bag”, moving closer to the goal of zero waste.

As of January 2023, both single-use plastic and paper bags have been removed from Walmart stores in Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Connecticut, according to the press release. Stores in Canada and Mexico are also bagless.

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