Wal-Mart’s 7 R’s are remove, reduce, reuse, recycle, renew, revenue, and read. The initiatives include removing unnecessary packaging, use materials that are made from renewable resources, achieve goals without increasing costs, and educate suppliers about environmental sustainability. Wal-Mart's packaging score card and the “7 R’s of Sustainable Packaging” are widely references and have become a model for corporate packaging sustainability. Wal-Mart's “7 R’s of Packaging” , as outlined on the Wal-Mart website, are: • REMOVE: Eliminate unnecessary packaging, boxes or layers, and harmful materials.
• REDUCE: “Right-size” packages, optimize material strength, and design packages appropriately for contents and merchandising requirements.
• REUSE: Wal-Mart has a goal that all transport packaging will be reused or recycled by 2011 through improved pallets and reusable plastic containers (RPCs).
• RENEW(ABLE): Use materials made of renewable resources as measured using ASTM D6866, or select biodegradable materials that meet ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868.
• RECYCLE(ABLE): Use materials made of the highest recycled content without compromising quality, including post-consumer recycled material (PCR) where appropriate. Components should be chosen based on recycle-ability post-use, with a goal of increasing the municipal recycling rate to 35 percent by 2011.
• REVENUE: Achieve all principles at cost parity or cost savings, which requires a supply chain approach.
• READ: Get educated on sustainability and how suppliers play a part. The Education Sub-Committee of the Packaging Sustainable Value Network recommends the following curriculum for professionals to learn more about packaging design for sustainability: − Sustainable Packaging
- New Thinking: The Sustainable Packaging Essentials Program − Packaging Fundamentals
- Fundamentals of Packaging
− Damage reduction through Simulated Distribution Testing
- CPLP training...