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Walmart Canada Ditches Single-Use Plastic Bags Nationwide, Just in Time for Earth Day.

The company claims the move will help to prevent more than 680,000,000 single-use plastic bags from entering circulation each year.

The next time you shop at a Walmart store in Canada, make sure you bring your reusable bags, totes, or boxes.

With the aim of becoming a more environmentally responsible company, Walmart Canada, which operates 408 stores (of which 343 are supercenters), has eliminated most single-use plastic bags from most of its stores. However, plastic produce bags are still available.

Walmart has already taken steps to reduce their environmental impact by eliminating plastic wrap from organic banana bunches and single peppers. Of course, neither of these products needed to be wrapped in plastic in the first place.

To be clear, this is not an ad for Walmart; the company still has a number of issues that cannot be fixed simply by “greenwashing.” Among them is the company’s use of union-busting tactics.

(Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In 2004, when the United Food and Commercial Workers Union failed to unionize a store in Jonquière, Quebec, a group of managers gathered outside the front door to celebrate for the cameras and taunt union supporters. It was enough to upset the workers who were against unionization that they switched sides, which led to the store being unionized in a second vote.

The newly unionized store was closed only five months later when Walmart refused to approve the new “business plan” a union would require. While Walmart’s CEO insisted the store was struggling financially, widespread criticism continued, even resulting in three of the company’s Quebec locations being temporarily closed because of bomb threats.

So, while I applaud what Walmart is doing to reduce their carbon footprint, they still have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to how they treat their employees, particularly their lower-wage frontline employees.

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