Walmart Canada has unveiled its new Charter on Plastics initiative to reduce plastic waste across its operations.

The latest move complements the retailer’s global commitment to have 100% recyclable private brand packaging by 2025.

As part of the initiative, Walmart aims to reduce check-out plastic bags by a further 50% by 2025, which is expected to remove a total of one billion bags.

It also plans to replace single-use plastic straws with paper alternatives by 2020. This move will reduce approximately 35 million single-use plastic straws annually.

In addition, Walmart will aim to use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its own private brand products, as well as remove hard-to-recycle polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and expanded polystyrene from its packaging by 2025.

“Reducing unnecessary plastic waste and increasing plastic recycling are key priorities for Walmart and for our customers.”

The retailer plans to achieve at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging, as well as commits to use How2Recycle labelling across its own private brand products by 2025.

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The retailer will offer environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic household products, including utensils, plates and cups, as well as end the use of all single-use plastics from its office cafeterias and distribution centres in Canada by the end of this year.

Walmart Canada president and CEO Lee Tappenden said: “Reducing unnecessary plastic waste and increasing plastic recycling are key priorities for Walmart and for our customers.

“As the world’s largest retailer and producer of private brand products, we want to use our size and scale to take a leadership role in reducing plastic waste in Canada.”