Walmart, Sam’s Club Recycling Plastic Food & Beverage Packaging

Retailers team with TerraCycle on program at select stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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TerraCycle has teamed with Walmart and Sam's Club on the Walmart Hub Recycling Program, which targets a waste stream that's not curbside recyclable.

Walmart Inc. and its Sam’s Club Division are teaming with TerraCycle to reduce the amount of plastic packaging waste, including disposable plates and utensils, the plastic wrap covering dishes, and used coffee pods. This is especially crucial during the holidays, since between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of year, amounting to nearly 25 million tons of excess waste annually, according to the companies.

Through the Walmart Hub Recycling Program, consumers can bring all brands of coffee capsules, water filters, plastic bottles, soft plastic food packaging and rigid plastic packaging to the designated recycling hubs positioned outside of participating Walmart Supercenters in Springdale, Ark., and Broken Arrow, Okla., as well as at the Fayetteville, Ark., Sam’s Club. The hubs are also collecting skin care and beauty products, oral care products, home and garden supplies packaging, worn clothing, pet food packaging, plastic bags and shipping materials, plastic toys, and ink cartridges and office supplies.

“Plastic food and beverage packaging is an often-overlooked waste stream that plays an important role in our daily lives,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Trenton, N.J.-based TerraCycle. “Most are not aware that soft plastic food packaging, for instance, is usually multilayered and consists of multiple different materials, excluding it from curbside recycling. That’s why this waste stream, along with water filters, plastic bottles, coffee capsules and rigid plastic packaging, was included in the Walmart Hub Recycling Program to offer consumers an easy way to celebrate the holidays sustainably, without guilt over the waste that food and beverage products produce.”

Shoppers can bring items to the designated recycling hubs positioned outside of the participating Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Club locations. When a hub station is full, TerraCycle will pick up and transport the waste to regional material recovery facilities where the waste will be sorted by material type and recycled into raw materials that can be used to make new products such as playgrounds and park benches.

Walmart Community Recycling Hubs are open to any interested individual, school, office or community organization. 

In October, Loop, the circular reuse platform developed by TerraCycle, joined Walmart’s InHome grocery delivery service in the metro areas of Bentonville and Rogers, Ark. Under the program, shoppers can buy a limited assortment of products in refillable, reusable containers and have them delivered to their homes via Walmart+ InHome.

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club, with nearly 600 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico, is No. 8.

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