Wal-Mart Announces Plan For Recycling Cardboard Waste

In the past decade, Wal-Mart Superstores have set the standard for the way that bulk purchasing power can provide consumers with lower prices. Unfortunately, the Wal-Mart corporation has also set the standard excessive consumption, low quality foods and wasted resources.

However, the past few years have seen the retail giant taking purposeful, albeit small steps in the direction of greater efficiency, energy conservation, and most recently, recycling.

According to a report by Supermarket News, Wal-Mart is “turning cardboard waste collected from its stores into boxes for its private-label take and bake pizzas.”

Although many people can recite the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) without hesitation, many fail to realize that recycling is only an effective process when manufacturers choose to include recycled content in their products, and consumers make a conscious decision to purchase products that include post-consumer recycled waste.

Packaging used by Wal-Mart to sell it’s frozen pizzas sends around 8,600 tons of cardboard waste to the landfill each year, and closing the recycling loop to both collect and reuse the waste carboard will save an estimated 125,000 trees and 40 million gallons of water each year.

“We’ve totally and literally closed the loop using a retailer’s own boxes to go through a paper mill and then to make corrugated boxes out of those same things again is something that’s the future,” Myles Cohen, president of the recycling division for Pratt Industries, told Supermarket News.

Pratt Industries will be responsible for collecting bales of the recyclable corrugated cardboard from participating Wal-Mart locations, and turning it into pulp which can then be used to make cardboard and assembled into boxes.

News of this Wal-Mart recycling initiative comes close on the heels of an announcment earlier this month that Wal-Mart Canada has launched a recycling program that reuses Styrofoam packaging from eight Wal-Mart locations for production of commercial insulation.

Of course, no amount of recycling can atone for the fact that Wal-Mart’s inexpensive food is often highly processed, and they are responsible for pushing many small farmers and local grocery retailers out of business.

However in order to achieve the lofty emissions and waste reduction goals that have been set for this decade, it will be necessary for large scale retailers like Wal-Mart to get on board in any capacity possible.

Image Credit: walmartpharmacy.blogspot.com

126 comments

Tim Cheung
Tim C.5 years ago

thanks.

Judith R.
Judith Robertson5 years ago

I'm glad they are making changes. But, you have got to be kidding, they didn't recycle their boxes previously!. How lazy, dumb, and behind the times can can a billion dollar company be?
Shame on Walmart. My opinion of them just got worse.

Erlinda Bocar Kantor

Never mind that people hate WalMart for putting a lot of small entrepreneurs out of business. They are not about to change that fact. So whatever they are willing to do in terms of recycling efforts are better than none at all. It's more than likely that other big companies will follow suit.

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 5 years ago

green initiatives will save companies money, who cares why they are doing it as long as they are

carol a.
carol R.5 years ago

Wallmart is one of the top 5 largest corporations in the world, the 4 oil companies being the largest. Wallmart could do alot more than just make pizza boxes for it's stores.
Recycling cardboard should be a big industry on it's own. Recycling anything should get priority as an industry.

Boxsmart Boxes
Boxsmart Boxes5 years ago

Being so large can be a good thing too. Being as big as they are, they can start the wave by being one of the largest recyclers around. It would save even more trees if the boxes were reused. Forests everywhere would rejoice!

Sheri P.
Sheri P.6 years ago

Amen, Carol H! I still hate Walmart and will never shop there again.

Carol H.
Past Member 6 years ago

To me going into a WalMart is like going into a dirty bar and drinking from one of their dirty glasses.
Just the other day they were caught distroying and throwing away clothes, coats and shoes in black bags and of course they said they didn't do it but you know darn right they did.
They are causing wonderful people of all kinds to go out of business because they are buying from China in big amounts and stealing money and food out of the mouths of the small guy and that is a fact.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p.6 years ago

better than nothing

Marishka k.
Marishka k.6 years ago

good