(COLORADO SPRINGS) —Walmart is entering 2023 with the goal to eliminate plastic use by no longer providing plastic bags in stores.

Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act will require major retail stores starting on Jan. 1, 2023 to charge a $0.10 fee on single-use carryout bags. For Walmart, the company is completely removing plastic bags from Colorado stores.

“Beginning Sunday, January 1 2023, Walmart stores in Colorado will no longer provide single-use plastic or paper bags at checkout or pick up, eliminating single-use bags,” said Director of Communications for Walmart in Western U.S., Lauren Willis. “As part of our commitment to achieve zero waste across our operations and ultimately shift gradually toward a circular economy built on advancing reuse, refill and recycling habits.”

Plastic bags are available at check out for shoppers.

In Walmart stores, reusable bags will be available for purchase to use instead of the once-provided plastic bags.

“Over the past few months, we’ve improved the placement of reusable bags in Walmart stores,” Willis said. “So I think we are spreading them out. We’re also developing… new bag designs, adjusting our checkout lines to accommodate more reusable bags. We’re also reminding our associates to offer customers their support in bagging and offering reusable bags where needed.”

Walmart Supercenter on Space Center Drive is ready for the new policy to go into effect.

“The reusable bags are available for the community $0.74 cents apiece,” said Walmart Coach, Ulises Estrada. “We have them available right at the front. When you’re coming in through the grocery department.”

The reusable bags for sale range in design with some having the Walmart logo on it and others in shades of pink and purple.

Estrada voiced his enthusiasm for the new initiative being put in place of Walmart going greener.

“Walmart is dedicated to leaving a very small footprint when it comes to sustainability and recycling when it comes to that,” Estrada said. “So we’re very excited to just be ahead of the game and show the community that we’re very responsible when it comes to saving the earth, being green and leaving a small footprint as a company.”

On Thursday afternoon, several shoppers at purchased reusable bags to take home their groceries including Shelby and Scott Goodman.

“I was at work and a coworker was telling me that Walmart wasn’t doing plastic bags anymore,” Shelby said. “And I was kind of upset before I realized that it was to save the environment. So, we decided to hop on board early and get our bags and we’re good to go.”

Reusable bags are available for purchase at Walmart Supercenter on Space Center Drive.

Another shopper was Sharon Walker, who said she is a big Walmart shopper coming at least four to five times a week. Inside her cart were groceries for all of her children and reusable bags.

“So, I’ll be prepared but it is what it is, we got to go with the flow,” Walker said. “That’s all I can say about it.”

Sharon Walker outside of Walmart. Her cart was filled with groceries and some reusable bags.

Now when visiting Walmart, a new challenge comes for the Goodman’s in remembering to bring a reusable bag.

“These will be under our sink where there used to be Walmart plastic bags,” said Goodman. “So hopefully we’ll remember to take them every time we come in.”

With the new bag policy being put in place, Walker shared she has around 20 reusable bags at home and said, “I’m saving them up to reuse for as long as I can.”

When it comes to the impact that plastic waste has on our planet, Willis shared how Walmart is working to achieve zero waste across operations.

“This is a massive challenge we must approach as an industry and at Walmart, we’re on path to look beyond the plastic and paper retail bag and identify solutions that can serve a similar function,” Willis said. “And we aim to do this while delivering convenience for customers and reducing the associated impact on the environment.”

Reusable bags will serve as the new bag option in Walmart locations all over Colorado.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Shelby Goodman said. “We both love Colorado. It’s beautiful here and we don’t want to see trash flying around or bags flying around like you do in other states. So this is awesome.”

Restaurants and small businesses will be exempted from this law.