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Walmart Pledges Reduction in its Virgin Plastic Usage By 2025, Details and Scope to be Released Soon

Walmart Pledges Reduction in its Virgin Plastic Usage By 2025, Details and Scope to be Released Soon

  • 13-May-2021 1:00 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

After Keurig Dr Pepper, PepsiCo, Target and Mondelez International, the world’s largest company by revenue and largest U.S. grocery retailer, Walmart Inc. becomes the latest brand to announce a significant cut in its virgin plastic usage by 2025. Although, the company has not disclosed any details and scope of the cut in its usage, but it has indicated that reductions will be significant and absolute.

As per the data submitted to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment initiative, a total of 1.2 million metric tonnes of plastics has been used by Walmart in its private brand packaging in 2019 and after its discussion with As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group, Walmart needs to release a report of its 2021 plastic usage numbers by December this year. As You Sow, and Walmart have signed an agreement to reduce its reliance on virgin plastics while slashing its use of single-use plastic.

According to the commitments made to As You Sow, Keurig Dr Pepper has announced specified reduction of 20% on virgin plastic use by 2025 while Mondelez has committed to impend 5% reduction in its virgin plastic and 25% reduction in its virgin material used in rigid plastic packaging. The study on the scopes of commitments at PepsiCo, Target, and Walmart are yet to be finalized and will be revealed later this year.

Till date, the largest cut in the overall plastic consumption was in 2019 by the major consumer goods company, Unilever who announced to cut virgin plastic usage by 50% and eliminate 100 kilo tons of plastic packaging by 2025.

Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president at As You Sow, said, “We are thrilled to have completed agreements with five leading global brands to slash use of virgin plastic in such a short time frame. These are important acts of leadership by companies whose packaging contributes to the global plastic pollution crisis. We encourage other companies to step forward and make bold, absolute cuts in plastic packaging. Thousands of companies will need to step forward and make similar commitments to ensure significant global reductions in single-use plastic packaging”.

Such reductions from major brands around the world are becoming a common sight as companies and brands are put under scrutiny by consumers and environmental organizations for maintaining status quo in their responsibilities towards global pollution and zero effort towards sustainability. Companies also falter on their reduction targets for plastic waste and cross their deadlines without achieving the specified targets.

In its latest press release, As You Sow also revealed that its two shareholder proposals on cuts in plastic use are still pending while it is seeking for shareholders vote at Amazon and Kroger on May 26 and June this year.

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