Walmart storefront(l), man talking(c), Plastic bags in boxes on shelf(r)

MDV Edwards/Shutterstock @dagmeetsworld/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Banned single use plastics and now making a profit off of it’: Walmart customer finds pack of Great Value plastic grocery bags for sale in the store

'Are the turtles saved now that we pay for them separately.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 8, 2024   Updated on May 7, 2024, 4:15 pm CDT

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Walmart’s decision to stop using single-use plastic bags in many of its stores. One person even pointed out that the chain began selling shopping baskets for $7 following the ban.

The store’s decision to leave customers up to their own devices when it comes to bagging items has left shoppers with the option of purchasing reusable bags. Shoppers can keep these in their cars and hopefully remember to bring them inside during their next shopping venture.

But one shopper found another “hack” that folks who are quick to forget their reusable bags might appreciate. Walmart now sells boxes packed with its single-use plastic bags, and he says that they don’t cost much more than the reusable ones sold at checkout.

Richard Dagostino (@dagmeetsworld) uploaded a viral clip where he suggests that folks can have an “endless” supply of the plastic bags that they keep in their car and not have to worry about bringing them back out of their home once their groceries are inside and put away.

However, several commenters thought it was pretty grimy on the part of Walmart to ban selling plastic bags, just to turn around and make a profit from them. Some folks suggested that retailers banning plastic bags has less to do with helping the environment and more with saving money.

“So they don’t give plastic grocery bags anymore but they now sell them for three bucks,” Dagostino says while standing in an aisle of a Walmart store. He pans his camera up to reveal a box of Great Value single-use plastic bags.

He comments on the irony of retailers like Walmart banning single use plastic bags for their customers, only to turn around and sell these bags in their stores. “Instead of buying the one that’s $2.50 at the cash [register]…I have 63 at home,” he says. “I now have endless grocery bags in the car.”

Dagostino then complains about the number of employees monitoring the self-checkout kiosks, rather than manning the typical checkout counters. This is a common complaint among Walmart shoppers.

“There’s like 26 people watching that they don’t steal,” he says. ‘Why don’t you just have six cashiers, instead of having all of us do the work and…laze around.”

The University of Colorado Boulder reports that the primary negative impacts of plastic bag use has to do with the extraction and processing of fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases. “It is estimated that just the extraction of these fossil fuels and their transportation to plastic factories emits 1.5 to 12.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases,” the university reports.

According to the World Economic Forum, plastic bag bans have already had a significant impact on reducing pollution. “A new report from nonprofits Environment America, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and Frontier Group has found that bans on plastic bags around the U.S. have already reduced the number of bags used by billions,” the report reads.

However, at least one of the states mentioned in the study, New Jersey, is the source of “conflicting” statistics when it comes to the efficacy of these bans in reducing pollution, according to North, as the outlet penned: “The study says that although total bag volume declined in New Jersey by over 60% after the implementation of the ban in 2022, the shift to alternative bags resulted in a three-times increase in plastic consumption for bags.”

Several viewers remarked in the comments’ section of Dagostino’s clip that they felt it was wrong of Walmart to profit from the sales of single-use plastics.

“If this is in Canada, the fact that the gov banned single use plastics and now making a profit off of it is insane,” one user commented.

Someone else quipped, “Are the turtles saved now that we pay for them separately.”

Another user joked about modern-day shopping experiences, writing, “I think they should give us an employee discount since we’re basically working there now.”

@dagmeetsworld Not saying i invented this.. but sure is genius #mtl #grocerybags #plasticuse #valerieplante #montreal #groceryhack #tiktokmademebuyit ♬ original sound – richard dagostino

And then there was a TikToker who made a similar comment, but took it a step further: “In Ontario we also have to help unload the trucks before shopping.”

Another person had a better idea on how to get plastic bags in the supermarket: by heading to the produce section and putting your items in them. “Use the produce bags. I walk to the register with each item in a produce bag – look the cashier right in The eye and say ‘ just doing my part,'” they suggested.

One user replied that they weren’t too keen on the ban for an entirely different reason: “I think I’ve run out of plastic bags for my waist bin and now have to buy them. It’s ridiculous.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart via email and Dagostino via TikTok comment for further information.

Share this article
*First Published: May 8, 2024, 3:00 am CDT