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From Reusable to Recycled: Walmart Canada Pilots Program Giving New Life to Blue Bags

Image courtesy Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada, in partnership with TerraCycle, will mark Earth Day on April 22 with a “Fresh Start” Day of Action, encouraging consumers to recycle their used blue Walmart shopping bags as part of a free national recycling pilot program. TerraCycle will launder usable bags and donate them for reuse by charity partners; bags that are too damaged for reuse will be recycled into raw formats that manufacturers can use to make products such as plastic shipping pallets or outdoor furniture.

“We know that transitioning away from single-use plastic bags two years ago has been a learning curve for Canadians — and we’re proud to be learning alongside them as we make this change together,” said Jennifer Barbazza, Senior Manager, Sustainability at Walmart Canada in a statement. “This first-of-its-kind national recycling pilot program will allow Canadians to give their excess or damaged reusable blue bags a second life, free of charge, preventing them from taking up space at home or heading to landfill.”

To participate, customers must register for the program with TerraCycle to receive a pre-paid shipping label. On April 22, customers can package up a minimum of five bags in a maximum package size of 18 x 18 x 18 inches, then drop the package at a UPS location for shipment to TerraCycle.

“As the largest grocery retailer in Canada to implement a reusable bag recycling program, Walmart is leading the way by taking voluntary action to reduce the reusable shopping bags that end up in landfills and incinerators,” said Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle in a statement, adding that the program “provides an opportunity for bags that are still in good condition to be put to good use by Food Banks Canada.”

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