Dec 19, 2012

Where do the plastic bags go?

Sharon of Grand Haven asked, "What does Meijer and Walmart do with all the plastic bags customers bring back to the store?"

ANSWER:

Managers at both the Meijer and Walmart stores in Grand Haven Township said the bags are recycled.

The bags at the Meijer store are returned to corporate headquarters for recycling. The bags customers put into the bins at Walmart are picked up by a recycling company, which also takes all the cardboard and plastic wrapping. Meijer also has a company that picks up cardboard and plastic refuse for recycling, a manager said.

Both retailers promote reusable shopping bags.

Brooke Buchanan, a corporate spokeswoman for Walmart, said the returned bags from all their stores combined amounted to more than 42 million pounds of plastic being recycled in the past two years. She said the company reduced plastic bag waste by about 3.1 billion bags in 2011 alone, a 35 percent reduction per store from 2007.

For more on Walmart's "global responsibility" program, click here.

For more on Meijer's "green living" efforts, click here.

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