Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Paper? Plastic? At Walmart, the push for reuseable


wmt smallbag 006Three Walmart stores in Northern California are no longer giving shoppers the option of packing their purchases in free plastic bags.

Instead, in stores in Folsom, Citrus Heights and Ukiah, Walmart is offering shoppers resuable bags — a regular sized bag for 15 cents or an oversized bag for 50 cents.

It’s part of a plan by Walmart to cut plastic shopping bag waste in its stores by one-third by 2013.

In 52 other stores in California, Walmart is now selling both of these reusable bags up front  at the register, where cashiers are encouraging shoppers to buy them when they check out (although shoppers can still opt for the free plastic bags).

U.S. shoppers ready to ban the plastic bag


plasticbag2.JPGAs California goes, so goes the nation — or at least that appears to be the case when we’re talking about San Francisco and the increasingly out-of-favor plastic shopping bag.
San Francisco became the first and only U.S. city to ban the bags in April 2008. Now it seems that the rest of the country is also ready to outlaw the offending carry-alls, which environmentalists say endanger wildlife and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
More than half, 54 percent, of Americans believe that plastic, non-compostable shopping bags should be banned, according Deloitte’s Retail “Green” Survey.  
rtx5dc2.jpgThat survey of 1,080 Americans, also found that nearly one-third say they take reusable shopping bags to food stores. 

Scores of other countries from Bangladesh to China have already banned the bags.