Can Walmart Accomplish Zero Waste by 2025?

- jim Young 180203

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." - Colin Powell

The problem with living in the city is, you put your garbage out at the end of the driveway and just like magic, it disappears.
However, like every other magic trick, it's just an illusion. It doesn't really disappear.

Image result for garbage at the end of a lanewayThe truth is, nothing ever really disappears whether it's a rabbit or your garbage. It just goes someplace else where you can't see it. (I apologize for neglecting a spoiler alert there.)

I think having no garbage pickup is an advantage of living in an unincorporated township. I don't see taking my garbage to the dump every week as a hardship. Nor do I see garbage pickup in the cities as a benefit.

Every visit I make to the landfill site, I am reminded of the importance of the 3 R’s, recycle, reduce, reuse.

I think every citizen wherever they live, whose taxes contribute to garbage pickup, should be required by law to take their own garbage to their landfill site at least once a year if not once a month, as an eyeopener to the amount of waste that we all help generate.

Walmart is just one of many corporations with lofty aspirations such as zero waste by 2025. (This goal is claimed in the “2017 Global Responsibility Report” found on Walmart’s website.)

Not all of Walmart’s goals can be achieved overnight but one area that could benefit with immediate attention involves the packaging of their online orders for groceries.

Living in a remote area of Northern Ontario with no grocery stores nearby, ordering our groceries online seems like a logical choice.

On more than one occasion Walmart has delivered our food items in an oversized box much bigger than was necessary for the items it contained.

Not only is a 16” x 18” x 40” (41cm x 46cm x 102 cm)  box much too awkward for me to handle when I pick it up at the post office, it is twice the size needed, requiring the use of air bags to fill the empty space.

Nor was this even sufficient to protect the goods inside, crushing potato chips and causing slight damage to some of the boxed goods inside.

A complaint to Walmart about the over-sized and unnecessary packaging was followed up with only a request to send them pictures of the damaged goods.

The damage to the goods, as I had indicated, was minor and had they actually read my complaint they would have quickly identified my concern was with the use of unnecessary packaging that was ineffective at best.

To my dismay, my concern was ignored and my last shipment from Walmart was received packaged the same way.

I laid the airbags almost the full length of our house (Click here to see the video) and measured the train at 50’ (15 meters).

Even the Packing List that accompanied these goods are a total waste of resources with only 3 items listed per page printed on a standard single sided sheet of 8 ½  x 11 paper.

Printing double sided would have reduced this 4 page document to 2 pages alone while a redesign of the layout could easily reduce this further.

Zero waste by 2025? Just 7 years to go Walmart. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

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