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Shopper calls out Walmart after spotting countless plants getting thrown away in garden center: 'They destroy them so nobody can get them'

"It's so frustrating to see all these good plants go to waste!"

"It's so frustrating to see all these good plants go to waste!"

Photo Credit: iStock

When products expire or get damaged, it makes sense for stores to throw them away. It makes less sense when they're still perfectly good — and even less when they're living, green plants. 

That's unfortunately what prompted a recent social media post about Walmart that caused the retailer to come under fire online for a sight spotted in its garden store.

What happened?

One frustrated gardener posted about the experience on Reddit. "Walmart throws away countless plants," they said.

"It's so frustrating to see all these good plants go to waste!"
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo they attached to the post shows two Walmart shopping carts overflowing with tray after tray of plants that are apparently headed for the dumpster. There are what seem to be tomato and basil plants visible, among others, and most look totally green and healthy — even the ones squashed at the bottom of the cart.

"I asked if I could take some since they were gonna be thrown out anyway, but sadly they said no," the original poster complained. "It's so frustrating to see all these good plants go to waste!"

Why does it matter if Walmart throws out plants?

When a major store throws out products, they lose out on the cost of that item, which means the other items have to be that much more expensive to make up for it. Meanwhile, people who would have loved to grow these plants are missing out on the enjoyment and, in the case of veggies, the food.

"My mother-in-law used to nab hundreds from the back of a Fred Meyer. Now they destroy them so nobody can get them," said one commenter.

Aside from that, every product in a Walmart, including the plants, takes time, energy, and resources to make. The plants are grown in fertile soil using precious water and transported on trucks and trains that create pollution with every mile. The more go to waste, the more are sent to replace them, harming the environment more than necessary.

Walmart has been called out for throwing live plants away before.

Is Walmart doing anything about this?

According to the Walmart website, the company is working on reducing waste. "As of 2020, we've diverted 81% of waste from landfill and incineration," it says.

Also, it's worth noting that there are sometimes good reasons to throw plants away, which wouldn't be visible in the photo. If the plants were diseased or infested with pests, getting them away from other plants and disposing of them is key to preventing the infection from spreading. 

However, Walmart does not appear to have a clear policy governing reasons its employees can and cannot throw away plants. Decisions may often rest with individual store managers.

What can I do to reduce waste?

If you're at a Walmart, a nursery, or a hardware store, it's worth asking for free or discounted plants that would otherwise be discarded. Sometimes you can find them already marked for clearance. There are simplehacks online to bring dying plants back to life, and they'll look great in your garden.

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