Update on Walmart-Paper bags instead of Plastic Bags

@lelin1123 (15645)
Puerto Rico
January 1, 2010 11:03pm CST
Just wanted to let everyone know who responded to my original discussion concerning Walmart not using Paper Bags. I emailed them to find out why they don't give the consumer the option of plastic bags or paper bags. I received a phone call today however I missed it but a message was left. She said "she was an Assistant Manager of Walmart in my area" and then proceeded to only say "Walmart is really big on recycling." That was her answer to my question. Can you imagine that was all she said. Instead of explaining the reason why they don't offer both. I have heard though from my daughter who use to work there that if people came back using the same walmart plastic bags from their previous trip that they would get 2 cents per bag. I have never seen anybody do that though.
5 people like this
19 responses
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
2 Jan 10
That is very interesting. People might do it, if they knew about it. I have never heard it either.
1 person likes this
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
2 Jan 10
My daughter said when she worked there was only one guy who would always bring the same 10 bags back. I might end up buying the green recycle bags after all this.
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
2 Jan 10
You can recycle the plastic bags. walmart - and many other stores - have bins to put the plastic bags in. You can also be proactive and use re-usable bags (walmart had them for purchase at one point for $.75/bag; you can easily make up the cost shopping other places with them - like Target where you get $.05 per re-usable bag you use).
1 person likes this
@kaylachan (4778)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
2 Jan 10
I still don't see what the big deal is with using plastic is. If anything you would think paper would be less of a choice. Plastic is more durrable in my opinion and if it gets wet there aren't any rips or tears like paper. Of course if you really are an enveronamentlist I would think you'd be pushing for cloth instead.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
2 Jan 10
I am not a wal-mart fan , don't go unless it is a have to case because i can barely get around the store it is so big but why are u singling out wal-mart? groceries & every body in stores use plastic bags,
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
I singled them out because this is the store that I do 99% of my food shopping at. Plus I do have a sunflower market that I get my fruits an veggies from and they offer either paper or plastic. That is why I thought why does Walmart which is a bigger store and are located everywhere would not offer this. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
3 Jan 10
I see, well i'm not taking up for wal-mart, i hate to go there. I think they are high on their groceries anyway , i just ca't get around the store very well.
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
8 Jan 10
That is bad for a Manager, she should have explained everything to you including this 2 cents a bag if you bring your Bags in I would have rang back and asked her to explain exactly what she meant by that
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
8 Jan 10
She actually called on New Year Day and I had no desire to talk to a dumb person, so that is why I didn't call back.
@suzzy3 (8370)
6 Jan 10
Sounds like rubbish to me,if they are big on recycling they would not hand out plastic bags,some shops in England just don't stock plastic bags full stop.That has dealt with the situation,it is the only way to get shoppers to take their own bags with them.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
6 Jan 10
I couldn't believe the reply I received. Nothing even about if you bring back the used plastic bags you get 2 cents per bag. Why didn't she tell me that. My daughter had to tell me about it. Thanks for responding.
@MrNiceGuy (4148)
• United States
3 Jan 10
I was at a Wal Mart today and saw this. But from what a sign said it was a county thing and I'm not sure all Wal Marts are doing this. But maybe the woman would have had more of an explanation if it wasnt a message.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
I don't think she would have had anything else better to say. She seemed to not know what to really say. If I had picked up the phone I would have definitely said is that all you can say? Plus she could have said something about the plastic bag. If you bring your old ones back you get two cents for each but she didn't.
• United States
3 Jan 10
I haven't seen anyone get 2 cents back for a bag. They do however, have a recycling box out front where you can place your bags for recycling. I don't believe I've ever had the choice of paper or plastic at Wal Mart. I do know the little grocery store where I go gives us a choice. It threw me off the other day when I went in for the first time because I hadn't been asked that in so long!
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
The only store in my area that ask if you want plastic or paper is the Sunflower Market. This is what made me wonder why Walmart which seems to be everywhere would offer the same thing. I have three walmarts all within 5 miles of my house in different directions. Thanks for responding.
• United States
2 Jan 10
I never knew about the rule if you brought back bags youd saved a couple pennies. If Walmart was so big on recycling like the assistant manager said one would think they would let customers know they give a discount for reusing the bags. I think the deal with walmart is that they do whatever is cost effective for them.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
You would have thought the assistant manager would have said that to me about the plastic bags and bring them back. She only said that they are big on recycling. I couldn't believe that was the response I received.
@maria1081 (1252)
• Philippines
2 Jan 10
In Real Canadian Superstore if you brought a bag with you and use your PC Financial depit card, the company card will give you extra credit/points in bringing your own bag. The store is also selling recycling bag made of recycling material, thats their way of being eco-friendly.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
4 Jan 10
That sounds good. I just think all stores should offer paper, cloth or plastic. Thanks for sharing.
@maezee (29506)
• United States
2 Jan 10
I missed the original discussion but this certainly sounds like an interesting story. I agree that it's kind of.. offputting that Wal-Mart doesn't seem to offer paper bags, and they really don't seem "big" on recycling no matter what some "assistant manager" says. *rolls eyes*. Oh dear.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
4 Jan 10
I know I still can't believe that is the answer I received. I will be writing to them again for a better answer. Thanks for responding.
@savypat (20248)
• United States
2 Jan 10
If that .02 cent rebate is at all Walmart stores. I don't know about it. I am going to ask next time I am there. I take my plastic bags back to be recycled all the time but I just put them in the bin.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
Savypat, please let me know what happens. Thanks!
@rosepedal64 (4192)
• United States
2 Jan 10
I have heard of other people taking their bags back to walmart for credit like that. I guess every penny counts. If I could remember to do that I would do the same thing as well. I usually end up throwing the plastic bags away...LOL Keep smiling.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
8 Jan 10
I was just there today and their blue cloth bads are 2.00 dollar a bag. I would have to spend like 20.00 dollars on bags when I do a big shopping. As for remembering the plastic bags I forget them too. Thanks for responding.
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
2 Jan 10
Paper bags or cloth bags have been compulsory in my state since early in 2009. We are banned from using plastic bags. To give people an option, supermarkets will supply plastic bags, but customers have to pasy for them, anythiung from 5c to 25 c per plastifc bag. I try to remember to bring my eight cloth bags every time I go shopping which was hard at first. The Assistant Manager who left a message from you was most unprofessional. If she wanted in increase recycling she could have left a decent message.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
3 Jan 10
I know, I will be sending a letter complaining about the answer I received. It was such a stupid reply. That would be good if they would charge for the plastic and offer both paper and cloth bags. Thanks for your respons.
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
12 Jan 10
Hi Lelin, It seems to me that if they were really really into recycling then paper bags would be the way to go. I can't imagine that most people think to grab those bags when they head out to walmart. I reuse mine to line the bathroom trash as well as the little bucket in my car. I've actually gotten so that I use cloth shopping bags most of the time unless I forget them. I actually have 2 of walmarts cloth bags and several from hanafords which are big and very sturdy.
@owlwings (38423)
• Cambridge, England
9 Jan 10
In the UK we have not had paper for some time now (or even an option). Although plastic is a very large proportion of landfill and usually takes hundreds of years to decay, it is actually cheaper and slightly more environmentally friendly to manufacture (it requires much less energy and water in its production, for example, than paper). If people learnt to recycle their plastic, each bag can be resused between 3 and 5 times on average and this alone would make plastic much more viable than paper. Many stores here have various methods of trying to encourage this. Marks and Spencers make a charge for plastic bags in their grocery stores and Tesco offer 'green points' on their loyalty cards (worth about 1p or just under 2 cents a time).
• United States
7 Jan 10
From what I've read, paper bags are not much better than plastic bags ecologically. The paper is made from trees. Now that I've gotten in the habit I've found that using canvas bags isn't any trouble. There are some real cute ones and I especially like the ones that fold up and can be tucked into their own little attached bag. They weigh next to nothing so they can be easily kept in a purse. They're washable and can be dried in a very short time. Walmart has these in a bright blue and they don't cost much. They're so much more durable than plastic bags--No more bags splitting just before you get to your front door.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
2 Jan 10
I have never seen or heard that anyone could do that either. I'll have to ask the next time I'm there but to be honest I usually don't go unless I have to. I don't care to go to Walmart.
@cyrus123 (6383)
• United States
2 Jan 10
This is a new one on me, too. I've never heard of anything like this. Kathy.