Walmart Inc. is opting for paper, not plastics, for its ecommerce operations.
The Arkansas-based retail giant said in a June 1 news release that it will move from plastic to paper mailers and give customers ordering online for in-store pickup the ability to opt out of single-use plastic bags and instead bring their own bags.
Walmart said it expects the transition to paper mailers will eliminate 65 million plastic bags, or about 2,000 tons of plastics by the end of this fiscal year.
"Customers have told us how excited they are about these enhancements to make it easier for them to make more sustainable choices that support the planet and the next generation," said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president of fulfillment network operations, in the release.
It's not just plastics in the crosshairs for Walmart. The company said it will decrease its use of cardboard by "right-sizing" the boxes used in shipping. Having a greater variety of box sizes will eliminate unused space in boxes, reducing the need for filler materials by 60 percent.
Customers can also opt to consolidate items into fewer boxes, reducing waste and the number of shipments.
Walmart is one of several major retailers involved in the Beyond the Bag Initiative with Closed Loop Partners to develop alternatives to standard retail bags. But it also was dropped from a listing of bag dropoff sites because two recent reports using trackers to follow the bags through the recycling process raised questions about whether those bags were actually recycled.