Some people on social media have expressed frustration in recent weeks over claims that Walmart is getting rid of plastic bags at its stores nationwide.
The retailer currently operates more than 4,700 Walmart stores in the U.S.
Several VERIFY readers, including Thelma, asked if Walmart is really going bagless in all of its U.S. stores.
Is Walmart getting rid of plastic bags in all U.S. stores?
- Aman Singh, director of global communications on sustainability for Walmart
- State laws on plastic bags in Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Connecticut
No, Walmart is not getting rid of plastic bags in all U.S. stores.
WHAT WE FOUND
Walmart does not currently have plans to do away with single-use plastic bags nationwide, Aman Singh, the company’s director of global communications on sustainability, told VERIFY.
As of January 2023, Walmart stores in these six states are bagless: Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Connecticut.
That means single-use bags, including plastic, aren’t available at checkout or online order pickup at Walmart stores in these states. Customers must either bring their own reusable bags or buy them at the stores.
All six of the states also have laws that either ban single-use bags or charge a fee for them.
Walmart stores in Maine, Vermont, New York, Connecticut and Colorado use paper bags for delivery orders, the company says. In New Jersey, Walmart uses reusable bags for delivery.
In some of these states, Walmart stores did away with single-use bags as early as 2021, while others adopted the change more recently.
Walmart stores in Colorado stopped providing single-use plastic or paper bags at checkout as of Jan. 1, 2023, VERIFY partner station KUSA reported. State law currently requires stores that provide paper or plastic bags to charge a fee. A statewide ban on single-use plastic bags is set to take effect in the state in 2024.
There are other states with laws banning single-use plastic bags and charging a fee for others, such as Washington and California, but Walmart hasn’t changed its policy to require only reusable bags at stores in these states.