Over 100 faith leaders from all 50 states push Walmart on takeback
As Walmart holds its annual shareholders’ meeting today in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) and local clergy are publishing an Open Letter signed by more than 100 faith leaders from all 50 states calling on Walmart, which sells more than $50 billion in electronics each year, to do its part to promote responsible electronics recycling.
Unlike Best Buy, Walmart does not have a takeback program to recycle the electronics it sells. It has only a small online service where you can mail back small items. Walmart does partner with Samsung to recycle electronics made under Walmart’s house brands, but Walmart has not sold its own brand of electronics for a few years. Best Buy, on the other hand, has a national program in all its stores, to take back and recycle a wide range of electronics, of any brand.
TCE, a partner organization in our coalition, has been campaigning for over a year to encourage Walmart to launch a takeback program, including sending over 30,000 letters from residents from all over Texas. Today’s letter from priests, pastors, rabbis, lay leaders, faith based activists and theologians endorsed that work, and shows support from across the nation for Walmart to show leadership on recycling.
Walmart should partner with the TV companies on takeback
Retailers are uniquely positioned to play a vital role in the e-waste takeback infrastructure. First, they are viewed by consumers as a very convenient way to recycle their e-waste, and we have already seen that if recycling is not made convenient, most people won’t do it. Second, most people prefer to drop off e-waste, not mail it back using an online interface. Some will do mailback if they get money from it, but few will go to the bother of packing and shipping items for recycling. And third, some items, including most TVs, are just too big and heavy to mail back for recycling. We need physical collection sites to allow consumers to drop them off. Walmart would do a big service to all of us if it would partner with the TV companies, most of whom have takeback programs, but who find it challenging to set up a collection system. Walmart is selling their TVs, why not help with the reverse logistics and provide the front door for these companies to take back their used TVs?
Use Walmart’s Facebook “What’s on your mind” Page
TCE is urging everyone to post a comment on Walmart’s Facebook Feedback page today, urging the company to launch a real takeback program and do it’s part to keep our e-waste out of the trash.