Meeting Walmart’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

3 min read
March 1, 2024
Meeting Walmart’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

In today's competitive retail environment, meeting sustainable packaging guidelines is not just about compliance; it's about committing to creating a better, greener future. Major retailers, such as Costco, are rolling out new and updated sustainable packaging guidelines for brands that sell through them, supporting an extensive overhaul of the supply chain to reduce the overall environmental impact on the planet.

Walmart is no exception. As one of the world’s leading retailers, Walmart is renowned for its extensive network of stores and e-commerce presence. With its vast scale and diverse product offerings, Walmart’s commitment to sustainability plays a significant role in influencing industry standards.


Walmart and Sustainability

In 2017, Walmart initiated Project Gigaton™ to involve suppliers and other stakeholders in climate action. Through this project, Walmart targets to reduce one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030. Enter: Walmart’s new sustainable packaging guidelines.

These guidelines are designed to enhance sustainability, and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands play a pivotal role in meeting Walmart's ambitious goal. As suppliers to the retail giant, CPG brands are expected to adhere to Walmart's sustainable packaging standards, ensuring that products reach consumers in packaging that is environmentally responsible.

In this article we will provide an overview of Walmart’s sustainable packaging guidelines and outline how you can work with a custom packaging supplier, such as The BoxMaker, to upgrade your product packaging to meet Walmart’s standards.

Walmart project gigaton


Walmart’s Three Pillars of Effective Sustainable Packaging

Walmart aims to reduce the environmental footprint of both private label and national brand packaging, all the while ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality products to its customers.

According to Walmart’s Sustainable Packaging Playbook, there are three priorities that CPG and other brands should focus on:

  • Optimize Design
  • Source Sustainably
  • Support Recycling

Walmart sustainability playbook screenshot

Optimized Design

Brands should optimize their packaging design to better protect their products and reduce packaging materials. This involves ensuring that all packaging meets ISTA standards while minimizing material usage. Right sizing or shifting to reusable containers is a great solution.

Sustainably Sourced Materials

Brands should ensure that their packaging materials are sourced in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. Increasing the use of renewable content and reducing or restricting priority chemicals are effective ways to adhere to this guideline.

Support Recycling

Brands should ensure that as much of their packaging as possible is made with materials that can be recycled. They also need to clearly communicate how to recycle their products to customers, such as adding a How2Recycle label.



Get Walmart’s Sustainable Packaging Playbook


The Walmart Sustainable Packaging Playbook serves as a comprehensive guide for CPG and other brands to navigate the complexities of sustainability in packaging. This document outlines Walmart's expectations aimed at reducing environmental impacts while delivering quality products to consumers.

Download the full guide here.


Working With a Dedicated Packaging Advisor and Supplier

Understanding and applying the principles outlined in this playbook can significantly influence a brand's sustainability index score, cost efficiency, and market competitiveness. While CPG brands lead the way in adopting sustainable packaging practices, all brands selling through Walmart should begin assessing and updating their packaging formats to meet these sustainability goals.

These best practices encompass various considerations, which is why it's advisable for brands to collaborate with a dedicated packaging supplier possessing the necessary expertise to meet these standards. You can rely on The BoxMaker’s Packaging Advisors and award-winning structural design team for help.

With over four decades of experience in delivering customized packaging solutions, our team will assess your packaging strategy and offer tailored sustainable solutions. We can help you with material reviews, right-sizing, elimination of unnecessary components, and more.

Learn how we developed a custom packaging solution for DOMA Coffee that not only reduced the brand’s eco-footprint but also improved their order pack-out operations:


Ready to develop better sustainable packaging and increase your sales in Walmart? Contact us to get started.


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