Why We Bag our Produce in Walmart Bags

We’re not Walmart fans of course. We don’t shop there.

But every week we bag our produce in plastic Walmart bags. Why?

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We believe in re-purposing and reusing items, whenever possible. We used to ask customers to give us their clean plastic grocery bags, for us to reuse (some still do this). Then Cherie discovered that Walmart routinely throws away huge amounts of brand new unused plastic bags, sending them straight to landfills. At Walmart the cashiers are told to check out customers as quickly as possible. They pull the plastic bags from a bin, and if they don’t separate easily they just toss them away by the handful, to avoid having to spend the one or two seconds (tops) that it might take to separate the bags that cling together.

The unused throwaway bags go into a big box near the checkout lines. Cherie started taking them, but one day she was told she wasn’t allowed to have them. So she wrote Walmart’s sustainability department (yes, they have one of those), complaining that these perfectly good unused bags were being wasted and sent to landfills, despite the fact that we could put them to good use. A few days later the local store manager called her, saying that we were welcome to take the bags.

And so now when our customers buy produce at the farmers market, or order produce for delivery, we usually give it to them in a Walmart bag.

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That makes good sense to us.