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January 13, 2010

Wal-Mart Stores in Northern California Begin Charging for Plastic Bags

Associated Content - 1.12.10

Walmart_logo_expo "Wal-Mart charging for plastic bags is now reality for shoppers in Northern California's Folsom, Ukiah and Citrus Heights. Wal-Mart grocery bags may soon cost a few pennies in other areas as well. Are Californians ready? What appears like a lofty goal - the overall waste reduction of 33% by 2013 - may well be accomplished one bag at a time. With Wal-Mart charging for plastic bags, the retailer implements the second phase of its "bring your own bag" movement that started back in October. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Wal-Mart strongly encouraged consumers to bring their own bags when buying. At this point, encouragement gives way to cash incentives. Wal-Mart charges for bags at the rate of 15 cents; over-sized bags retail for 50 cents. The jury is still out whether Wal-Mart charging for bags will be a project that also finds its way into the remaining 52 stores..."

Read more here.

Our Take: Financial incentives to encourage people to carry reusable bags are smart. Like successful fee models, such as Ireland's Plastax, incentives have the potential to reduce the consumption of use-and-toss shopping bags dramatically.


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It's about time Wal-mart does something good for our environment! Maybe they will work on how they take care of their employees next.

WALMART is NOT "doing something good for the environment" - WALMART is doing something good for WALMART!! WALMART is asking their CUSTOMERS to "do something" - to increase WALMART's PROFITS! You don't seriously believe that Walmart pays 15 cents per bag, do you??? It is UNDER 1 cent per bag.

If Walmart ACTUALLY wanted to do something THEMSELVES that is "good for the environment," they would provide a DISCOUNT for customers who purchased and used their own bags - and pay for it out of their savings for not supplying bags themselves. BTW, what do you want to bet whether or not the DISCOUNT would be the same 15 cents per bag they are planning to CHARGE?

I would hope that if they are charging 15¢ for a bag it will at least be able to carry more than 2 cans without tearing. Also, if you reuse those cheap bags as bathroom garbage bags and replace a standard small LDPE garbage bag you are saving more energy & lowering production emissions. As long as it doesn't end up as litter it helps.

I follow you VIA GFC and I love your blog!

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