Country feed bottle return hours

Country feed bottle return hours DEFAULT


Feeding of babies or young children with milk from a woman's breast

"Suckling" redirects here. For other uses, see Suckling (disambiguation).

Video summary of article with script

Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding human breast milk to a child, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant.[1] The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that breastfeeding begin within the first hour of a baby's life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.[2][3] During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse roughly every two to three hours, and the duration of a feeding is usually ten to fifteen minutes on each breast.[4] Older children feed less often.[5] Mothers may pump milk so that it can be used later when breastfeeding is not possible.[1] Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby, which infant formula lacks.[3][6]

Increased breastfeeding to near-universal levels in low and medium income countries could prevent approximately 820,000 deaths of children under the age of five annually.[7] Breastfeeding decreases the risk of respiratory tract infections and diarrhea for the baby, both in developing and developed countries.[2][3] Other benefits have been proposed to include lower risks of asthma, food allergies, and diabetes,[3] although more recent results from meta-analyses did not find significant effects.[7] Breastfeeding may also improve cognitive development and decrease the risk of obesity in adulthood.[2] Mothers may feel pressure to breastfeed, but in the developed world children generally grow up normally when bottle fed with formula.[8]

Benefits for the mother include less blood loss following delivery, better uterus contraction, and decreased postpartum depression.[3] Breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation and fertility, a phenomenon known as lactational amenorrhea.[3] Long-term benefits for the mother include decreased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.[3][7] Breastfeeding is also less expensive than infant formula.[9][10]

Health organizations, including the WHO, recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months.[2][3][11] This means that no other foods or drinks, other than possibly vitamin D, are typically given.[12] After the introduction of foods at six months of age, recommendations include continued breastfeeding until one to two years of age or more.[2][3] Globally, about 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed during their first six months of life.[2] In the United States in 2015, 83% of women begin breastfeeding, but at 6 months only 58% were still breastfeeding with 25% exclusively breastfeeding.[13] Medical conditions that do not allow breastfeeding are rare.[3] Mothers who take certain recreational drugs and medications should not breastfeed.[14][15] In 2020, WHO and UNICEF announced that women should continue to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 because current evidence indicates that it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breast milk.[16] Smoking tobacco and consuming limited amounts of alcohol and/or coffee are not reasons to avoid breastfeeding.[17][18][19]


When the baby suckles its mother's breast, a hormone called oxytocincompels the milk to flow from the alveoli(lobules), through the ducts (milk canals), into the sacs (milk pools) behind the areola, and then into the baby's mouth.

Main article: Lactation

Changes early in pregnancy prepare the breast for lactation. Before pregnancy the breast is largely composed of adipose (fat) tissue but under the influence of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and other hormones, the breasts prepare for production of milk for the baby. There is an increase in blood flow to the breasts. Pigmentation of the nipples and areola also increases. Size increases as well, but breast size is not related to the amount of milk that the mother will be able to produce after the baby is born.[20]

By the second trimester of pregnancy colostrum, a thick yellowish fluid, begins to be produced in the alveoli and continues to be produced for the first few days after birth until the milk "comes in", around 30 to 40 hours after delivery.[22]Oxytocin contracts the smooth muscle of the uterus during birth and following delivery, called the postpartum period, while breastfeeding. Oxytocin also contracts the smooth muscle layer of band-like cells surrounding the alveoli to squeeze the newly produced milk into the duct system. Oxytocin is necessary for the milk ejection reflex, or let-down, in response to suckling, to occur.

Breast milk[edit]

Main article: Breast milk

Two 25 ml samples of human breast milk. The sample on the left is foremilk, the watery milk coming from a full breast. To the right is hindmilk, the creamy milk coming from a nearly empty breast.[24]

Not all of breast milk's properties are understood, but its nutrient content is relatively consistent. Breast milk is made from nutrients in the mother's bloodstream and bodily stores. It has an optimal balance of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development.[25] Breastfeeding triggers biochemical reactions which allow for the enzymes, hormones, growth factors and immunologic substances to effectively defend against infectious diseases for the infant. The breast milk also has long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids which help with normal retinal and neural development.[26]

If the mother is not herself deficient in vitamins breast milk normally supplies her baby's needs, possibly with the exception of vitamin D. The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Mayo Clinic all advise that even if the mother is taking vitamins containing vitamin D her breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D, thus they advise that shortly after birth most infants will need an additional source.[27][28] Some research shows that delaying clamping of the cord at birth until the pulsations have stopped improves the infants' iron status for the first six months.[29]

The composition of breast milk changes depending on how long the baby nurses at each session, as well as on the child's age.[30] The first type, produced during the first days after childbirth, is called colostrum. Colostrum is easy to digest although it is more concentrated than mature milk. It has a laxative effect that helps the infant to pass early stools, aiding in the excretion of excess bilirubin, which helps to prevent jaundice. It also helps to seal the infants gastrointestional tract from foreign substances, which may sensitize the baby to foods that the mother has eaten. Although the baby has received some antibodies through the placenta, colostrum contains a substance which is new to the newborn, secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA works to attack germs in the mucous membranes of the throat, lungs, and intestines, which are most likely to come under attack from germs.[31]

Breasts begin producing mature milk around the third or fourth day after birth. At that time the breasts begin to feel full and the milk is then said to have "come in." As the baby suckles the milk is said to be "letting down" which the mother experiences as a tingling feeling which may be quite strong. Also, in the early days following delivery the mother may feel her uterus cramping during letting down, a beneficial cramping to help prevent excessive bleeding. Letting down may also be prompted by other things than the suckling of the baby, for example just the thought of the baby can produce let down. Mothers may use purchased disposable pads in their bra or use washable homemade pads to absorb the leaking milk.[32]

Early in a nursing session, the breasts produce foremilk, a thinner milk containing many proteins and vitamins. If the baby keeps nursing, then hindmilk is produced. Hindmilk has a more yellow color and creamier texture because it contains more fat.[33]



It is recommended for mothers to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.[34][35] Breastfeeding can begin immediately after birth. The baby is placed on the mother and feeding starts as soon as the baby shows interest. According to some authorities the majority of infants do not immediately begin to suckle if placed between the mother's breasts but rather enter a period of rest and quiet alertness. During this time they seem to be more interested in the mother's face, especially her eyes, than beginning to suckle. It has been speculated that this period of infant-mother interaction assists in the mother-child bonding for both mother and baby.[36]

There is increasing evidence that suggests that early skin-to-skin contact (also called kangaroo care) between mother and baby stimulates breastfeeding behavior in the baby.[37] Newborns who are immediately placed on their mother's skin have a natural instinct to latch on to the breast and start nursing, typically within one hour of birth. Immediate skin-to-skin contact may provide a form of imprinting that makes subsequent feeding significantly easier. In addition to more successful breastfeeding and bonding, immediate skin-to-skin contact reduces crying and warms the baby.

According to studies cited by UNICEF, babies naturally follow a process which leads to a first breastfeed. Initially after birth the baby cries with its first breaths. Shortly after, it relaxes and makes small movements of the arms, shoulders and head. If placed on the mother's abdomen the baby then crawls towards the breast, called the breast crawl[36] and begins to feed. After feeding, it is normal for a baby to remain latched to the breast while resting. This is sometimes mistaken for lack of appetite. Absent interruptions, all babies follow this process. Rushing or interrupting the process, such as removing the baby to weigh him/her, may complicate subsequent feeding.[38] Activities such as weighing, measuring, bathing, needle-sticks, and eye prophylaxis wait until after the first feeding.[39]

Current research strongly supports immediate skin-to-skin mother-baby contact even if the baby is born by Cesarean surgery. The baby is placed on the mother in the operating room or the recovery area. If the mother is unable to immediately hold the baby a family member can provide skin-to-skin care until the mother is able. The La Leche League suggests early skin-to-skin care following an unexpected surgical rather than vaginal delivery "may help heal any feelings of sadness or disappointment if birth did not go as planned."[40]

Children who are born preterm have difficulty in initiating breast feeds immediately after birth. By convention, such children are often fed on expressed breast milk or other supplementary feeds through tubes or bottles until they develop satisfactory ability to suck breast milk. Tube feeding, though commonly used, is not supported by scientific evidence as of October 2016.[41] It has also been reported in the same systematic review that by avoiding bottles and using cups instead to provide supplementary feeds to preterm children, a greater extent of breast feeding for a longer duration can subsequently be achieved.[41]


Newborn babies typically express demand for feeding every one to three hours (8–12 times in 24 hours) for the first two to four weeks.[42] A newborn has a very small stomach capacity. At one-day old it is 5–7 ml, about the size of a large marble; at day three it is 22–30 ml, about the size of a ping-pong ball; and at day seven it is 45–60 ml, or about the size of a golf ball. The amount of breast milk that is produced is timed to meet the infant's needs in that the first milk, colostrum, is concentrated but produced in only very small amounts, gradually increasing in volume to meet the expanding size of the infant's stomach capacity.[31]

According to La Leche League International, "Experienced breastfeeding mothers learn that the sucking patterns and needs of babies vary. While some infants' sucking needs are met primarily during feedings, other babies may need additional sucking at the breast soon after a feeding even though they are not really hungry. Babies may also nurse when they are lonely, frightened or in pain....Comforting and meeting sucking needs at the breast is nature's original design. Pacifiers (dummies, soothers) are a substitute for the mother when she cannot be available. Other reasons to pacify a baby primarily at the breast include superior oral-facial development, prolonged lactational amenorrhea, avoidance of nipple confusion, and stimulation of an adequate milk supply to ensure higher rates of breastfeeding success."[43]

Many newborns will feed for 10 to 15 minutes on each breast.[4] If the infant wants to nurse for a much longer period—say 30 minutes or longer on each breast—they may not be getting enough milk.[4]

Duration and exclusivity[edit]

Health organizations recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months following birth, unless medically contraindicated.[2][44][45][46][47][3][48][49][50][51] Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as "an infant's consumption of human milk with no supplementation of any type (no water, no juice, no nonhuman milk and no foods) except for vitamins, minerals and medications."[39] In some countries, including the United States, UK, and Canada, daily vitamin D supplementation is recommended for all breastfed infants.[52][53][54] It seems that giving 400 IU vitamin D per day for 6 months to breastfed infants reduces vitamin D insufficiency; this result can also be achieved by providing at least 4000 IU vitamin D per day to the breastfeeding person. Note that it was not possible to determine that these vitamin D supplements were actually improving bone health.[55]

After solids are introduced at around six months of age, continued breastfeeding is recommended. The AAP recommends that babies be breastfed at least until 12 months, or longer if both the mother and child wish.[3] WHO's guidelines recommend "continue[d] frequent, on-demand breastfeeding until two years of age or beyond.[34][56]

The vast majority of mothers can produce enough milk to fully meet the nutritional needs of their baby for six months. Breast milk supply augments in response to the baby's demand for milk, and decreases when milk is allowed to remain in the breasts.Low milk supply is usually caused by allowing milk to remain in the breasts for long periods of time, or insufficiently draining the breasts during feeds. It is usually preventable, unless caused by medical conditions that have been estimated to affect up to five percent of women.[58] There is no evidence to support increased fluid intake for breastfeeding mothers will increase their milk production.[59] "Drink when thirsty" is advised.[60] If the baby is latching and swallowing well, but is not gaining weight as expected or is showing signs of dehydration, low milk supply in the mother can be suspected.[58]

Medical contraindications[edit]

Main article: Breastfeeding by HIV infected mothers

Medical conditions that do not allow breastfeeding are rare.[3] Infants that are otherwise healthy uniformly benefit from breastfeeding, however, extra precautions should be taken or breastfeeding avoided in circumstances including certain infectious diseases. A breastfeeding child can become infected with HIV. Factors such as the viral load in the mother's milk complicate breastfeeding recommendations for HIV-positive mothers.[62][63]

In mothers who are treated with antiretroviral drugs the risk of HIV transmission with breastfeeding is 1–2%.[2] Therefore, breastfeeding is still recommended in areas of the world where death from infectious diseases is common.[2] Infant formula should only be given if this can be safely done.[2]

WHO recommends that national authorities in each country decide which infant feeding practice should be promoted by their maternal and child health services to best avoid HIV transmission from mother to child.[64] Other maternal infections of concern include active untreated tuberculosis or human T-lymphotropic virus. Mothers who take certain recreational drugs and medications should not breastfeed.[14]

In May 2020, WHO and UNICEF stressed that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was not a reason to begin or discontinue breastfeeding. They recommend that women should continue to breastfeed during the pandemic even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 because current evidence indicates that it is not likely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breast milk.[16]


All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that allow a mother to breastfeed her baby in any public or private location.[65] In the United States, the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act was signed into law in 2019 and the requirements went into effects in 2021. This law requires all large and medium hub airports must provide a private, non-bathroom lactation space in each terminal building.[66]

In hospitals, rooming-in care permits the baby to stay with the mother and simplifies the process. Some commercial establishments provide breastfeeding rooms, although laws generally specify that mothers may breastfeed anywhere, without requiring a special area. Despite these laws, many women in the United States continue to be publicly shamed or asked to refrain from breastfeeding in public.[67] In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act 2010 makes the prevention of a woman breastfeeding in any public place discrimination under the law.[68] In Scotland, it is a criminal offense to try to prevent a woman feeding a child under 24 months in public.[68]

While laws in the U.S. that passed in 2010 which required that nursing mothers who had returned to work be given a non-bathroom space to express milk and a reasonable break time to do so, as of 2016 the majority of women still did not have access to both accommodations.[69] As of 2019, some establishments have placed small portable nursing "pods" with electrical outlets for nursing pumps to provide their places of business with a comfortable private area to nurse or express milk. The Minnesota Vikings were the first (2015) NFL franchise to implement the lactation pods. In 2019, it was reported that the pod manufacturer had placed 152 of them in 57 airports.[70][71]

In 2014, newly elected Pope Francis drew worldwide commentary when he encouraged mothers to breastfeed babies in church. During a papal baptism, he said that mothers "should not stand on ceremony" if their children were hungry. "If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice," he said, smiling. "Because they are the most important people here."[72]


Correct positioning and technique for latching on are necessary to prevent nipple soreness and allow the baby to obtain enough milk.[73]

Babies can successfully latch on to the breast from multiple positions. Each baby may prefer a particular position. The "football" hold places the baby's legs next to the mother's side with the baby facing the mother. Using the "cradle" or "cross-body" hold, the mother supports the baby's head in the crook of her arm. The "cross-over" hold is similar to the cradle hold, except that the mother supports the baby's head with the opposite hand. The mother may choose a reclining position on her back or side with the baby lying next to her.[74]

  • Standing mother breastfeeding her baby, Canjambari, Guinea-Bissau, 1973

  • Illustration depicting correct latch-on position during breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding – Cradle hold.

  • Breastfeeding – Cross cradle position.

  • Breastfeeding – Football hold.

  • Breastfeeding – Incorrect vs correct latch-on.

  • Breastfeeding – Semi-reclining position.

  • Breastfeeding – Side-lying position.

  • Breastfeeding – Supine position.

  • Breastfeeding – Tease lips or cheek.

  • Breastfeeding – Twins, cross cradle position I.

  • Breastfeeding – Twins, football or clutch hold.

  • Breastfeeding – Twins, parallel position II.

Latching on[edit]

Main article: Latch (breastfeeding)

The process of latching a newborn onto the breast

Latching on refers to how the baby fastens onto the breast while feeding. The rooting reflex is the baby's natural tendency to turn towards the breast with the mouth open wide; mothers sometimes make use of this by gently stroking the baby's cheek or lips with their nipple to induce the baby to move into position for a breastfeeding session. Infants also use their sense of smell in finding the nipple. Sebaceous glands called Glands of Montgomery located in the areola secrete an oily fluid that lubricates the nipple. The visible portions of the glands can be seen on the skin's surface as small round bumps. They become more pronounced during pregnancy and it is speculated that the infant is attracted to the odor of the secretions.[75] One study found that when one of the breasts was washed with unscented soap the baby preferred the other one, suggesting that plain water would be the best washing substance while the baby is becoming accustomed to nursing.[76]

In a good latch, a large amount of the areola, in addition to the nipple, is in the baby's mouth. The nipple should be angled towards the roof of the mouth, and the baby's lips should be flanged out.[77] In some cases in which a baby seems unable to latch on properly the problem may be related to a medical condition called ankyloglossia, also referred to as "tongue-tied". In this condition a baby can't get a good latch because their tongue is stuck to the bottom of their mouth by a band of tissue and they can't open their mouth wide enough or keep their tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If an infant is unable to hold their tongue in the correct position they may chew rather than suck, causing both a lack of nutrition for the baby and significant nipple pain for the mother. If it is determined that the inability to latch on properly is related to ankyloglossia, a simple surgical procedure can correct the condition.[79][80][81][82]

At one time it was thought that massage of the nipples before the birth of the baby would help to toughen them up and thus avoid possible nipple soreness. It is now known that a good latch is the best prevention of nipple pain. There is also less concern about small, flat, and even "inverted" nipples as it is now believed that a baby can still achieve a good latch with perhaps a little extra effort. In one type of inverted nipple, the nipple easily becomes erect when stimulated, but in a second type, termed a "true inverted nipple," the nipple shrinks back into the breast when the areola is squeezed. According to La Leche League, "There is debate about whether pregnant women should be screened for flat or inverted nipples and whether treatments to draw out the nipple should be routinely recommended. Some experts believe that a baby who is latched on well can draw an inverted nipple far enough back into his mouth to nurse effectively." La Leche League offers several techniques to use during pregnancy or even in the early days following birth that may help to bring a flat or inverted nipple out.[83]

Professional breastfeeding support[edit]

Lactation consultants are trained to assist mothers in preventing and solving breastfeeding difficulties such as sore nipples and low milk supply. They commonly work in hospitals, physician or midwife practices, public health programs, and private practice. Exclusive and partial breastfeeding are more common among mothers who gave birth in hospitals that employ International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), thus the U.S. Surgeon General recommends that all communities have access to IBCLC services.[84][85]

Newborn jaundice[edit]

Approximately 60% of full-term infants develop jaundice within several days of birth. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, occurs when a normal substance, bilirubin, builds up in the newborn's bloodstream faster than the liver can break it down and excrete it through the baby's stool. By breastfeeding more frequently or for longer periods of time, the infant's body can usually rid itself of the bilirubin excess. However, in some cases, the infant may need additional treatments to keep the condition from progressing into more severe problems.[86]

There are two types of newborn jaundice. Breast milk jaundice occurs in about 1 in 200 babies. Here the jaundice isn't usually visible until the baby is a week old. It often reaches its peak during the second or third week. Breast milk jaundice can be caused by substances in mother's milk that decrease the infant's liver's ability to deal with bilirubin. Breast milk jaundice rarely causes any problems, whether it is treated or not. It is usually not a reason to stop nursing.[86]

A different type of jaundice, Breastfeeding jaundice, may occur in the first week of life in more than 1 in 10 breastfed infants. The cause is thought to be inadequate milk intake, leading to dehydration or low caloric intake. When the baby is not getting enough milk bowel movements are small and infrequent so that the bilirubin that was in the baby's gut gets reabsorbed into the blood instead of being passed in bowel movements. Inadequate intake may be because the mother's milk is taking longer than average to "come in" or because the baby is poorly latched while nursing. If the baby is properly latching the mother should offer more frequent nursing sessions to increase hydration for the baby and encourage her breasts to produce more milk. If poor latch is thought to be the problem, a lactation expert should assess and advise.[86]


Main article: Weaning

Weaning is the process of replacing breast milk with other foods; the infant is fully weaned after the replacement is complete. Psychological factors affect the weaning process for both mother and infant, as issues of closeness and separation are very prominent.[87] If the baby is less than a year old, substitute bottles are necessary; an older baby may accept milk from a cup. Unless a medical emergency necessitates abruptly stopping breastfeeding, it is best to gradually cut back on feedings to allow the breasts to adjust to the decreased demands without becoming engorged. La Leche League advises: "The nighttime feeding is usually the last to go. Make a bedtime routine not centered around breastfeeding. A good book or two will eventually become more important than a long session at the breast."[88]

If breastfeeding is suddenly stopped a woman's breasts are likely to become engorged with milk. Pumping small amounts to relieve discomfort helps to gradually train the breasts to produce less milk. There is presently no safe medication to prevent engorgement, but cold compresses and ibuprofen may help to relieve pain and swelling. Pain should go away in one to five days. If symptoms continue and comfort measures are not helpful a woman should consider the possibility that a blocked milk duct or infection may be present and seek medical intervention.[89]

When weaning is complete the mother's breasts return to their previous size after several menstrual cycles. If the mother was experiencing lactational amenorrhea her periods will return along with the return of her fertility. When no longer breastfeeding she will need to adjust her diet to avoid weight gain.[90]


See also: Breastfeeding and medications

Almost all medicines pass into breastmilk in small amounts. Some have no effect on the baby and can be used while breastfeeding.[91] Many medications are known to significantly suppress milk production, including pseudoephedrine, diuretics, and contraceptives that contain estrogen.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that "tobacco smoking by mothers is not a contraindication to breastfeeding."[39] Breastfeeding is actually especially recommended for mothers who smoke, because of its protective effects against SIDS.

With respect to alcohol, the AAP states that when breastfeeding, "moderation is definitely advised" and recommends waiting for 2 hours after drinking before nursing or pumping.[94] A 2014 review found that "even in a theoretical case of binge drinking, the children would not be subjected to clinically relevant amounts of alcohol [through breastmilk]", and would have no adverse effects on children as long as drinking is "occasional".[95] The Centers for Disease Control says "pumping and dumping", or getting rid of milk expressed or pumped, would not reduce the amount of alcohol.[96]


Formulaand pumped breastmilk side-by-side. Note that the formula is of uniform consistency and color, while the expressed breast milk exhibits properties of an organic solution by separating into a layer of fat at the top (the "creamline"), followed by the milk, and then a watery blue-colored layer at the bottom.

Expressed milk[edit]

A mother can express (produce) her milk for storage and later use. Expression occurs with massage or a breast pump. It can be stored in freezer storage bags, containers made specifically for breastmilk, a supplemental nursing system, or a bottle ready for use. Using someone other than the mother/wet nurse to deliver the bottle maintains the baby's association of nursing with the mother/wet nurse and bottle feeding with other people.

Breast milk may be kept at room temperature for up to six hours (the CDC recommends up to four hours), refrigerated for up to eight days or frozen for six to twelve months.[97] Research suggests that the antioxidant activity in expressed breast milk decreases over time, but remains at higher levels than in infant formula.[98]

Mothers express milk for multiple reasons. Expressing breast milk can maintain a mother's milk supply when she and her child are apart. A sick baby who is unable to nurse can take expressed milk through a nasogastric tube. Some babies are unable or unwilling to nurse. Expressed milk is the feeding method of choice for premature babies.[99]Viral disease transmission can be prevented by expressing breast milk and subjecting it to Holder pasteurisation.[100] Some women donate expressed breast milk (EBM) to others, either directly or through a milk bank. This allows mothers who cannot breastfeed to give their baby the benefits of breast milk.

Babies feed differently with artificial nipples than from a breast. With the breast, the infant's tongue massages the milk out rather than sucking, and the nipple does not go as far into the mouth. Drinking from a bottle takes less effort and the milk may come more rapidly, potentially causing the baby to lose desire for the breast. This is called nursing strike, nipple strike or nipple confusion. To avoid this, expressed milk can be given by means such as spoons or cups.

"Exclusively expressing", "exclusively pumping", and "EPing" are terms for a mother who exclusively feeds her baby expressed milk. With good pumping habits, particularly in the first 12 weeks while establishing the milk supply, it is possible to express enough milk to feed the baby indefinitely. With the improvements in breast pumps, many women exclusively feed expressed milk, expressing milk at work in lactation rooms. Women can leave their infants in the care of others while traveling, while maintaining a supply of breast milk.[101]

Shared nursing[edit]

Main article: Wet nurse

It is not only the mother who may breastfeed her child. She may hire another woman to do so (a wet nurse), or she may share childcare with another mother (cross-nursing). Both of these were common throughout history. It remains popular in some developing nations, including those in Africa, for more than one woman to breastfeed a child. Shared breastfeeding is a risk factor for HIV infection in infants.[102] Shared nursing can sometimes provoke negative social reactions in the English-speaking world.[103][104]

Tandem nursing[edit]

It is possible for a mother to continue breastfeeding an older sibling while also breastfeeding a new baby; this is called tandem nursing. During the late stages of pregnancy, the milk changes to colostrum. While some children continue to breastfeed even with this change, others may wean. Most mothers can produce enough milk for tandem nursing, but the new baby should be nursed first for at least the first few days after delivery to ensure that it receives enough colostrum.

Breastfeeding triplets or larger broods is a challenge given babies' varying appetites. Breasts can respond to the demand and produce larger milk quantities; mothers have breastfed triplets successfully.[106][107][108]

  • Newborn twins being breastfed

  • Woman breastfeeds 2 year old twins whilst reading them a book.

  • Woman tandem nurses an infant and a toddler.

Induced lactation[edit]

Induced lactation, also called adoptive lactation, is the process of starting breastfeeding in a woman who did not give birth.[109] This usually requires the adoptive mother to take hormones and other drugs to stimulate breast development and promote milk production. In some cultures, breastfeeding an adoptive child creates milk kinship that built community bonds across class and other hierarchal bonds.[109]


Re-lactation is the process of restarting breastfeeding.[109] In developing countries, mothers may restart breastfeeding after a weaning as part of an oral rehydration treatment for diarrhea. In developed countries, re-lactation is common after early medical problems are resolved, or because a mother changes her mind about breastfeeding.

Re-lactation is most easily accomplished with a newborn or with a baby that was previously breastfeeding; if the baby was initially bottle-fed, the baby may refuse to suckle. If the mother has recently stopped breastfeeding, she is more likely to be able to re-establish her milk supply, and more likely to have an adequate supply. Although some women successfully re-lactate after months-long interruptions, success is higher for shorter interruptions.[109]

Techniques to promote lactation use frequent attempts to breastfeed, extensive skin-to-skin contact with the baby, and frequent, long pumping sessions.[109] Suckling may be encouraged with a tube filled with infant formula, so that the baby associates suckling at the breast with food. A dropper or syringe without the needle may be used to place milk onto the breast while the baby suckles. The mother should allow the infant to suckle at least ten times during 24 hours, and more times if he or she is interested. These times can include every two hours, whenever the baby seems interested, longer at each breast, and when the baby is sleepy when he or she might suckle more readily. In keeping with increasing contact between mother and child, including increasing skin-to-skin contact, grandmothers should pull back and help in other ways. Later on, grandmothers can again provide more direct care for the infant.[110]

These techniques require the mother's commitment over a period of weeks or months. However, even when lactation is established, the supply may not be large enough to breastfeed exclusively. A supportive social environment improves the likelihood of success.[109] As the mother's milk production increases, other feeding can decrease. Parents and other family members should watch the baby's weight gain and urine output to assess nutritional adequacy.[110]

A WHO manual for physicians and senior health workers citing a 1992 source states: "If a baby has been breastfeeding sometimes, the breastmilk supply increases in a few days. If a baby has stopped breastfeeding, it may take 1-2 weeks or more before much breastmilk comes."[110]


Main article: Extended breastfeeding

Extended breastfeeding means breastfeeding after the age of 12 or 24 months, depending on the source. In Western countries such as the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, extended breastfeeding is relatively uncommon and can provoke criticism.[111][112]

In the United States, 22.4% of babies are breastfed for 12 months, the minimum amount of time advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In India, mothers commonly breastfeed for 2 to 3 years.[113]

Health effects[edit]

Support for breastfeeding is universal among major health and children's organizations. WHO states, "Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; breastfeeding is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers."[114]

Breastfeeding decreases the risk of a number of diseases in both mothers and babies.[115] The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends efforts to promote breastfeeding.[116]

A United Nations resolution promoting breast feeding was passed despite opposition from the Trump administration. Lucy Sullivan of 1,000 Days, an international group seeking to improve baby and infant nutrition, stated this was "public health versus private profit. What is at stake: breastfeeding saves women and children’s lives. It is also bad for the multibillion-dollar global infant formula (and dairy) business."[117][118][119]


Early breastfeeding is associated with fewer nighttime feeding problems.[120] Early skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby improves breastfeeding outcomes and increases cardio-respiratory stability.[121] Reviews from 2007 found numerous benefits. Breastfeeding aids general health, growth and development in the infant. Infants who are not breastfed are at mildly increased risk of developing acute and chronic diseases, including lower respiratory infection, ear infections, bacteremia, bacterial meningitis, botulism, urinary tract infection and necrotizing enterocolitis.[122][123] Breastfeeding may protect against sudden infant death syndrome,[124]insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, childhood lymphoma, allergic diseases, digestive diseases,[39] obesity, develop diabetes, or childhood leukemia later in life.[125] and may enhance cognitive development.[39][126] It is hard however to distinguish the importance of breastfeeding per se and other correlated socioeconomic factors (breastfeeding is more frequent in richer families with higher educations). Comparing breastfed and non-breastfed siblings in a given family drastically decreases the association between breasfeeding and long-term child well-being.[26]


The average breastfed baby doubles its birth weight in 5–6 months. By one year, a typical breastfed baby weighs about 2-1/2 times its birth weight. At one year, breastfed babies tend to be leaner than formula-fed babies, which improves long-run health.[127]

The Davis Area Research on Lactation, Infant Nutrition and Growth (DARLING) study reported that breastfed and formula-fed groups had similar weight gain during the first 3 months, but the breastfed babies began to drop below the median beginning at 6 to 8 months and were significantly lower weight than the formula-fed group between 6 and 18 months. Length gain and head circumference values were similar between groups, suggesting that the breastfed babies were leaner.[128]


Main article: Human milk immunity

Breast milk contains several anti-infective factors such as bile salt stimulated lipase (protecting against amoebic infections) and lactoferrin (which binds to iron and inhibits the growth of intestinal bacteria).[129][130]

Exclusive breastfeeding till six months of age helps to protect an infant from gastrointestinal infections in both developing and industrialized countries. The risk of death due to diarrhea and other infections increases when babies are either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.[2] Infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months are less likely to die of gastrointestinal infections than infants who switched from exclusive to partial breastfeeding at three to four months.[11]

During breastfeeding, approximately 0.25–0.5 grams per day of secretory IgA antibodies pass to the baby via milk.[131][132] This is one of the important features of colostrum.[133] The main target for these antibodies are probably microorganisms in the baby's intestine. The rest of the body displays some uptake of IgA,[134] but this amount is relatively small.[135]

Maternal vaccinations while breastfeeding is safe for almost all vaccines. Additionally, the mother's immunity obtained by vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and influenza can protect the baby from these diseases, and breastfeeding can reduce fever rate after infant immunization. However, smallpox and yellow fever vaccines increase the risk of infants developing vaccinia and encephalitis.[136][137]


Babies who receive no breast milk are almost six times more likely to die by the age of one month than those who are partially or fully breastfed.[138]

Childhood obesity[edit]

Main article: Childhood obesity

The protective effect of breastfeeding against obesity is consistent, though small, across many studies.[122][123][139] A 2013 longitudinal study reported less obesity at ages two and four years among infants who were breastfed for at least four months.[140]

Allergic diseases[edit]

In children who are at risk for developing allergic diseases (defined as at least one parent or sibling having atopy), atopic syndrome can be prevented or delayed through 4-month exclusive breastfeeding, though these benefits may not persist.[141]

Other health effects[edit]

Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).[123]

Breastfeeding or introduction of gluten while breastfeeding don't protect against celiac disease among at-risk children. Breast milk of healthy human mothers who eat gluten-containing foods presents high levels of non-degraded gliadin (the main gluten protein). Early introduction of traces of gluten in babies to potentially induce tolerance doesn't reduce the risk of developing celiac disease. Delaying the introduction of gluten does not prevent, but is associated with a delayed onset of the disease.[142][143]

About 14 to 19 percent of leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or longer.[144] However, breastfeeding is also the primary cause of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, as the HTLV-1 virus is transmitted through breastmilk.[145]

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower chance of developing diabetes mellitus type 1 in the offspring.[123] Breastfed babies also appear to have a lower likelihood of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 later in life.[122][123][146]

Breastfeeding may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in later life, as indicated by lower cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels in breastfed adult women.[122] Breastfed infants have somewhat lower blood pressure later in life, but it is unclear how much practical benefit this provides.[122][123]

A 1998 study suggested that breastfed babies have a better chance of good dental health than formula-fed infants because of the developmental effects of breastfeeding on the oral cavity and airway. It was thought that with fewer malocclusions, breastfed children may have a reduced need for orthodontic intervention. The report suggested that children with a well rounded, "U-shaped" dental arch, which is found more commonly in breastfed children, may have fewer problems with snoring and sleep apnea in later life.[147] A 2016 review found that breastfeeding protected against malocclusions.[7]

Breastfeeding duration has been correlated with child maltreatment outcomes, including neglect and sexual abuse.[148]


It is unclear whether breastfeeding improves intelligence later in life. Several studies found no relationship after controlling for confounding factors like maternal intelligence (smarter mothers were more likely to breastfeed their babies).[123][149] However, other studies concluded that breastfeeding was associated with increased cognitive development in childhood, although the cause may be increased mother–child interaction rather than nutrition.[122][150]


Maternal bond[edit]

Oxytocin, a hormone released during breastfeeding, may play a role in maternal-infant attachment and bonding, potentially via decreased anxiety and stress.[151]


Main article: Lactational amenorrhea

Exclusive breastfeeding usually delays the return of fertility through lactational amenorrhea,[152][153] although it does not provide reliable birth control. Breastfeeding may delay the return to fertility for some women by suppressing ovulation. Mothers may not ovulate, or have regular periods, during the entire lactation period. The non-ovulating period varies by individual. This has been used as natural contraception, with greater than 98% effectiveness during the first six months after birth if specific nursing behaviors are followed.[154]

Postpartal bleeding[edit]

While breastfeeding soon after birth is believed to increase uterus contraction and reduce bleeding. This effect is most likely causally linked to the increase in Oxytocin levels in the bloodstream. Purified Oxytocin is commonly administered in hospitals for the reduction of postpartal bleeding.[155]

Weight retention[edit]

It is unclear whether breastfeeding causes mothers to lose weight after giving birth.[152][156][157][158] The National Institutes of Health states that it may help with weight loss.[159]

Chronic conditions[edit]

Breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes among mothers who practice it.[160] Longer duration of breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk of hypertension.[158]

For breastfeeding women, long-term health benefits include reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer.[152][161]

A 2011 review found it unclear whether breastfeeding affects the risk of postpartum depression.[162] Later reviews have found tentative evidence of a lower risk among mothers who successfully breastfeed.[163][164]

Social factors[edit]

Main article: Breastfeeding difficulties

The majority of mothers intend to breastfeed at birth. Many factors can disrupt this intent. Research done in the US shows that information about breastfeeding is rarely provided by a women's obstetricians during their prenatal visits and some health professionals incorrectly believe that commercially prepared formula is nutritionally equivalent to breast milk.[165] Many hospitals have instituted practices that encourage breastfeeding, however a 2012 survey in the US found that 24% of maternity services were still providing supplements of commercial infant formula as a general practice in the first 48 hours after birth.[3]The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding attempts to educate practitioners.[166]

Social support[edit]

See also: Postpartum confinement

A review found that when effective forms of support are offered to women, exclusive breastfeeding and duration of breastfeeding are increased. Characteristics of effective support includes ongoing, face-to-face support tailored to fit their needs. It may be offered by lay/peer supporters, professional supporters, or a combination of both.[167] This review contrasts with another large review that looked at education programs alone, which found no conclusive evidence of initiation of breastfeeding or the proportion of women breastfeeding either exclusively or partially at 3 months and 6 months.[168]

Positive social support in essential relationships of new mothers plays a central role in the promotion of breastfeeding outside of the confines of medical centers. Social support can come in many incarnations, including tangible, affectionate, social interaction, and emotional and informational support. An increase in these capacities of support has shown to greatly positively effect breastfeeding rates, especially among women with education below a high school level.[169] Some mothers that have used lactation rooms have taken to leaving sticky notes to not only thank the businesses that have provided them but to support, encourage, and praise the nursing moms who use them.[71]

In the social circles surrounding the mother, support is most crucial from the male partner, the mother's mother, and her family and friends.[170] Research has shown that the closest relationships to the mother have the strongest impact on breastfeeding rates, while negative perspectives on breastfeeding from close relatives hinder its prevalence.[169]

  • Mother – Adolescence is a risk factor for low breastfeeding rates, although classes, books and personal counseling (professional or lay) can help compensate.[171] Some women fear that breastfeeding will negatively impact the look of their breasts. However, a 2008 study found that breastfeeding had no effect on a woman's breasts; other factors did contribute to "drooping" of the breasts, such as advanced age, number of pregnancies and smoking behavior.[172]
  • Partner – Partners may lack knowledge of breastfeeding and their role in the practice.
  • Wet nursing – Social and cultural attitudes towards breastfeeding in the African-American community are also influenced by the legacy of forced wet-nursing during slavery.[173]

Maternity leave[edit]

Work is the most commonly cited reason for not breastfeeding.[174] In 2012 Save the Children examined maternity leave laws, ranking 36 industrialized countries according to their support for breastfeeding. Norway ranked first, while the United States came in last.[175]Maternity leave in the US varies widely, including by state. The United States does not mandate paid maternity leave for any employee however the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees qualifying mothers up to 12 weeks unpaid leave although the majority of US mothers resume work earlier. A large 2011 study found that women who returned to work at or after 13 weeks after childbirth were more likely to predominantly breastfeed beyond three months.[176]


Caesarean section[edit]

Women are less likely to start breastfeeding after caesarean delivery compared with vaginal delivery.[177][178]

Breast surgery[edit]

Breastfeeding can generally be attempted after breast augmentation or reduction surgery, however prior breast surgery is a risk factor for low milk supply.

A 2014 review found that women who have breast implant surgery were less likely to exclusively breast feed, however it was based on only three small studies and the reasons for the correlation were not clear.[181] A large follow-up study done in 2014 found a reduced rate of breastfeeding in women who had undergone breast augmentation surgery, however again the reasons were unclear. The authors suggested that women contemplating augmentation should be provided with information related to the rates of successful breastfeeding as part of informed decision making when contemplating surgery. [182]

Prior breast reduction surgery is strongly associated with an increased probability of low milk supply due to disruption to tissues and nerves. Some surgical techniques for breast reduction appear to be more successful than others in preserving the tissues that generate and channel milk to the nipple. A 2017 review found that women were more likely to have success with breastfeeding with these techniques.[184]


Breastfeeding mothers should inform their healthcare provider about all of the medications they are taking, including herbal products. Nursing mothers may be immunized and may take most over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs without risk to the baby but certain drugs, including some painkillers and some psychiatric drugs, may pose a risk.[185]

The US National Library of Medicine publishes "LactMed", an up-to-date online database of information on drugs and lactation. Geared to both healthcare practitioners and nursing mothers, LactMed contains over 450 drug records with information such as potential drug effects and alternate drugs to consider.[137][186]

Some substances in the mother's food and drink are passed to the baby through breast milk, including mercury (found in some carnivorous fish),[187]caffeine,[188] and bisphenol A.[189][190]

Medical conditions[edit]

Undiagnosed maternal celiac disease may cause a short duration of the breastfeeding period. Treatment with the gluten-free diet can increase its duration and restore it to the average value of the healthy women.[191]

Mothers with all types of diabetes mellitus normally use insulin to control their blood sugar, as the safety of other antidiabetic drugs while breastfeeding is unknown.[192]

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, which is associated with some hormonal differences and obesity, may have greater difficulty with producing a sufficient supply to support exclusive breastfeeding, especially during the first weeks.[193]

Ethnicity and socioeconomic status[edit]

The rates of breastfeeding in the African-American community remain much lower than any other race, for a variety of proposed reasons. These include the legacy of Wet nursing during slavery, higher rates of poor perinatal health, higher stress levels, less access to support, and less flexibility in the workplace.[194] While for other races as socio-economic class raises rates of breastfeeding also go up, for the African-American community breastfeeding rates remain consistently low regardless of socio-economic class.[195]

There are also racial disparities in access to maternity care practices that support breastfeeding. In the US, primarily African-American neighborhoods are more likely to have facilities (such as hospitals and female healthcare clinics) that do not support breastfeeding, contributing to the low rate of breastfeeding in the African-American community. Comparing facilities in primarily African American neighborhoods to ones in primarily White neighborhoods, the rates of practices that support or discourage breastfeeding were: limited use of supplements (13.1% compared with 25.8%) and rooming-in (27.7–39.4%)[196]

Low-income mothers are more likely to have unintended pregnancies.[197] Mothers whose pregnancies are unintended are less likely to breastfeed.[198]

Especially the combination of powdered formula with unclean water can be very harmful to the health of babies. In the late 1970s, there was a boycott against Nestle due to the great number of baby deaths due to formula. Dr. Michele Barry explains that breastfeeding is most imperative in poverty environments due to the lack of access of clean water for the formula. The Lancet study in 2016 discovered that universal breastfeeding would prevent the deaths of 800,000 children as well as save $300,000,000.[119]

Social acceptance[edit]

Main article: Breastfeeding in public

Some women feel discomfort when breastfeeding in public.[199] Public breastfeeding may be forbidden in some places, not addressed by law in others, and a legal right in others. Even given a legal right, some mothers are reluctant to breastfeed,[200][201] while others may object to the practice.[202]

The use of infant formula was thought to be a way for western culture to adapt to negative perceptions of breastfeeding.[203] The breast pump offered a way for mothers to supply breast milk with most of formula feeding's convenience and without enduring possible disapproval of nursing.[204] Some may object to breastfeeding because of the implicit association between infant feeding and sex.[205] These negative cultural connotations may reduce breastfeeding duration.[200][206][207][208] Maternal guilt and shame is often affected by how a mother feeds her infant. These emotions occur in both bottle- and breast- feeding mothers, although for different reasons. Bottle feeding mothers may feel that they should be breastfeeding.[209] Conversely, breastfeeding mothers may feel forced to feed in uncomfortable circumstances. Some may see breastfeeding as, "indecent, disgusting, animalistic, sexual, and even possibly a perverse act."[210] Advocates (known by the neologism "lactivists") use "nurse-ins" to show support for breastfeeding in public.[199] One study that approached the subject from a feminist viewpoint suggested that both nursing and non-nursing mothers often feel maternal guilt and shame with formula feeding mothers feeling that they are not living up to the ideals of woman and motherhood and nursing mothers concerned that they are transgressing "cultural expectations regarding feminine modesty." The authors advocate that women be provided with education on breastfeeding's benefits as well as problem-solving skills,[209] however there is no conclusive evidence that breastfeeding education alone improves initiation of breastfeeding or the proportion of women breastfeeding either exclusively or partially at 3 months and 6 months.[168]


Percentage of babies exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Data from 2004 to 2011.[211]
Percentage of US infants breastfeeding by month since birth in 2008.
Dotted line: Exclusive breastfeeding
Dashed line Any breastfeeding
* Estimated at 7 days after birth

Globally about 38% of babies are exclusively breastfed during their first six months of life.[2] In the United States the rate of women beginning to breastfeed was 76% in 2009 increasing to 83% in 2015 with 58% still breastfeeding at 6 months, although only 25% were still breastfeeding exclusively.[13] African-American women have persistently low rates of breastfeeding compared to White and Hispanic American women. In 2014, 58.1% of African-American women breastfeed in the early postpartum period, compared to 77.7% of White women and 80.6% of Hispanic women.[195]

Breastfeeding rates in different parts of China vary considerably.[212]

Rates in the United Kingdom were the lowest in the world in 2015 with only 0.5% of mothers still breastfeeding at a year, while in Germany 23% are doing so, 56% in Brazil and 99% in Senegal.[213]

In Australia for children born in 2004, more than 90% were initially breastfed.[214] In Canada for children born in 2005–06, more than 50% were only breastfed and more than 15% received both breastmilk and other liquids, by the age of 3 months.[215]


Main article: History and culture of breastfeeding

See also: Wetnurse

In the Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires, women usually fed only their own children.[citation needed] However, breastfeeding began to be seen as something too common to be done by royalty, and wet nurses were employed to breastfeed the children of the royal families. This extended over time, particularly in western Europe, where noble women often made use of wet nurses. Lower-class women breastfed their infants and used a wet nurse only if they were unable to feed their own infant. Attempts were made in 15th-century Europe to use cow or goat milk, but these attempts were not successful. In the 18th century, flour or cereal mixed with broth were introduced as substitutes for breastfeeding, but this provided inadequate nutrition.[citation needed] The appearance of improved infant formulas in the mid 19th century and its increased use caused a decrease in breastfeeding rates, which accelerated after World War II, and for some in the US, Canada, and UK, breastfeeding was seen as uncultured. From the 1960s onwards, breastfeeding experienced a revival which continued into the 2000s, though negative attitudes towards the practice were still entrenched in some countries up to 1990s.[216]

Society and culture[edit]


In languages around the world, the word for "mother" is something like "mama". The linguist Roman Jakobson hypothesized that the nasal sound in "mama" comes from the nasal murmur that babies produce when breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding is less costly than alternatives, but the mother generally must eat more food than she would otherwise. In the US, the extra money spent on food (about US$14 each week) is usually about half as much money as the cost of infant formula.[9] According to the CDC, breastfeeding mothers need an extra 450 to 500 calories per day compared to their pre-pregnancy caloric intake.[217]

Breastfeeding reduces health care costs and the cost of caring for sick babies. Parents of breastfed babies are less likely to miss work and lose income because their babies are sick.[9] Looking at three of the most common infant illnesses, lower respiratory tract illnesses, otitis media, and gastrointestinal illness, one study compared infants that had been exclusively breastfed for at least three months to those who had not. It found that in the first year of life there were 2033 excess office visits, 212 excess days of hospitalization, and 609 excess prescriptions for these three illnesses per 1000 never-breastfed infants compared with 1000 infants exclusively breastfed for at least 3 months.[218][219]

Mobile apps[edit]

Dozens of mobile apps exist for tracking the habits of breastfeeding mothers.[220]

Criticism of breastfeeding advocacy[edit]

There are controversies and ethical considerations surrounding the means used by public campaigns which attempt to increase breastfeeding rates, relating to pressure put on women, and potential feeling of guilt and shame of women who fail to breastfeed; and social condemnation of women who use formula.[222][223][224][225] In addition to this, there is also the moral question as to what degree the state or medical community can interfere with the self-determination of a woman: for example in the United Arab Emirates the law requires a woman to breastfeed her baby for at least 2 years and allows her husband to sue her if she does not do so.[226][227]

It is widely assumed that if women's healthcare providers encourage them to breastfeed, those who choose not to will experience more guilt. Evidence does not support this assumption. On the contrary, a study on the effects of prenatal breastfeeding counselling found that those who had received such counselling and chosen to formula-feed denied experiencing feelings of guilt. Women were equally comfortable with their subsequent choices for feeding their infant regardless of whether they had received encouragement to breastfeed.

Preventing a situation where women are denied agency and/or stigmatized for formula use is also seen as important. In 2018, in the UK, a policy statement from the Royal College of Midwives said that women should be supported and not stigmatized, if after being given advice and information, they choose to formula feed.[229]

Social marketing[edit]

Social marketing is a marketing approach intended to change people's behavior to benefit both individuals and society.[230] When applied to breastfeeding promotion, social marketing works to provide positive messages and images of breastfeeding to increase visibility. Social marketing in the context of breastfeeding has shown efficacy in media campaigns.[231][232][233][234][235][236] Some oppose the marketing of infant formula, especially in developing countries. They are concerned that mothers who use formula will stop breastfeeding and become dependent upon substitutes that are unaffordable or less safe.[237][238] Through efforts including the Nestlé boycott, they have advocated for bans on free samples of infant formula and for the adoption of pro-breastfeeding codes such as the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by the World Health Assembly in 1981 and the Innocenti Declaration by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990.[237] Additionally, formula companies have spent millions internationally on campaigns to promote the use of formula as an alternative to mother's milk.[239]

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative[edit]

Main article: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in conjunction with UNICEF in order to promote infant feeding and maternal bonding through certified hospitals and birthing centers. BFHI was developed as a response to the influence held by formula companies in private and public maternal health care.The initiative has two core tenets: the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.[240] The BFHI has especially targeted hospitals and birthing centers in the developing world, as these facilities are most at risk to the detrimental effects of reduced breastfeeding rates. As of 2018, 530 hospitals in the United States hold the "Baby-Friendly" title in all 50 states. Globally, there are more than 20,000 "Baby-Friendly" hospitals worldwide in over 150 countries.[241]

Representation on television[edit]

The first depiction of breastfeeding on television was in the children's program Sesame Street, in 1977.[242] With few exceptions since that time breastfeeding on television has either been portrayed as strange, disgusting, or a source of comedy, or it has been omitted entirely in favor of bottle feeding.[242]


See also: Milk kinship and Mahram

In some cultures, people who have been breastfed by the same woman are milk-siblings who are equal in legal and social standing to a consanguineous sibling.[243] Islam has a complex system of rules regarding this, known as Rada (fiqh). Like the Christian practice of godparenting, milk kinship established a second family that could take responsibility for a child whose biological parents came to harm. "Milk kinship in Islam thus appears to be a culturally distinctive, but by no means unique, institutional form of adoptive kinship."[244]

In Western countries, differences in breastfeeding practices have also been observed according to the affiliation or practice of Christian religions; unaffiliated and Protestant women exhibit higher rates of breastfeeding.[245][246][247][248]


Many mothers have to return to work a short time after their babies have been born.[249] In the U.S. about 70% of mothers with children younger than three years old work full-time with 1/3 of the mothers returning to work within 3 months and 2/3 returning within 6 months. Working outside of the home and full-time work are significantly associated with lower rates of breastfeeding and breastfeeding for a shorter duration of time.[250] According to the CDC "support for breastfeeding in the workplace includes several types of employee benefits and services, including writing corporate policies to support breastfeeding women; teaching employees about breastfeeding; providing designated private space for breastfeeding or expressing milk; allowing flexible scheduling to support milk expression during work; giving mothers options for returning to work, such as teleworking, part-time work, and extended maternity leave; providing on-site or near-site child care; providing high-quality breast pumps; and offering professional lactation management services."[250]

Programs to promote and assist nursing mothers have been found to help maintain breastfeeding.[251] In the United States the CDC reports on a study that "examined the effect of corporate lactation programs on breastfeeding behavior among employed women in California [which] included prenatal classes, perinatal counseling, and lactation management after the return to work". They found that "about 75% of mothers in the lactation programs continued breastfeeding at least 6 months, although nationally only 10% of mothers employed full-time who initiated breastfeeding were still breastfeeding at 6 months."[250]

The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was passed in 2010 requires that all nursing mothers be given a non-bathroom space to express milk and a reasonable break time to do so, however as of 2016 the majority of women still do not have access to both accommodations. A 2016 study found: "1) federal law does not address lactation space functionality and accessibility, 2) federal law only protects a subset of employees, and 3) enforcement of the federal law requires women to file a complaint with the United States Department of Labor. To address each of these issues, we recommend the following modifications to current law: 1) additional requirements surrounding lactation space and functionality, 2) mandated coverage of exempt employees, and 3) requirement that employers develop company-specific lactation policies."[69]

In Canada, British Columbia and Ontario, provincial Human Rights Codes prevent against workplace discrimination due to breastfeeding.[252][253] In British Columbia, employers are required to provide accommodation to employees who breastfeed or express breast milk. Although no specific requirements are mandated, under the Human Rights Code, accommodations suggested include paid breaks (not including meal breaks), private facilities that include clean running water, comfortable seating areas, and refrigeration equipment, as well as flexibility in terms of work-related conflicts.[252] In Ontario, employers are encouraged to accommodate breastfeeding employees by providing additional breaks without fear of discrimination. Unlike in British Columbia, the Ontario Code does not include specific recommendations, and therefore leaves significant flexibility for employers.[254]


Breastfeeding research continues to assess prevalence, HIV transmission, pharmacology, costs, benefits, immunology, contraindications, and comparisons to synthetic breast milk substitutes.[11][255] Factors related to the mental health of the nursing mother in the perinatal period have been studied. While cognitive behavior therapy may be the treatment of choice, medications are sometimes used. The use of therapy rather than medication reduces the infant's exposure to medication that may be transmitted through the milk.[256] In coordination with institutional organisms, researchers are also studying the social impact of breastfeeding throughout history. Accordingly, strategies have been developed to foster the increase of the breastfeeding rates in the different countries.[257]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab"Breastfeeding and Breast Milk: Condition Information". 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  2. ^ abcdefghijkl"Infant and young child feeding Fact sheet N°342". WHO. February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ abcdefghijklmnAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding. (March 2012). "Breastfeeding and the use of human milk". Pediatrics. 129 (3): e827-41. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3552. PMID 22371471. Archived from the original on 5 August 2015.
  4. ^ abc"How do I breastfeed? Skip sharing on social media links". 14 April 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. ^"What is weaning and how do I do it?". 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. ^Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, Trikalinos TA, Lau J (October 2009). "A summary of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's evidence report on breastfeeding in developed countries". Breastfeeding Medicine. 4 Suppl 1: S17-30. doi:10.1089/bfm.2009.0050. PMID 19827919.
  7. ^ abcdVictora CG, Bahl R, Barros AJ, França GV, Horton S, Krasevec J, et al. (January 2016). "Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect". Lancet. 387 (10017): 475–90. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)01024-7. PMID 26869575. S2CID 24126039.
  8. ^Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM (1 January 2011). Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 227–228. ISBN .
  9. ^ abc"Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. American Academy of Pediatrics. Work Group on Breastfeeding". Pediatrics. 100 (6): 1035–9. December 1997. doi:10.1542/peds.100.6.1035. PMID 9411381. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012.

Pandemic sparks boom in bottle redemption centers and beer sales

Sorted beer bottles are seen in a bin at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Menands, N.Y. The organization has restarted their Empties for Animals program, which takes in donated returnable bottles and cans. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)

ALBANY — COVID-19 has meant boom times for bottle recyclers. With many supermarkets shuttering their bottle return bins, people are seeking out specialized redemption centers and beverage stores to cash in on their empties.

At the same time, however, there are worries that far more empty beer cans, soda bottles and other returnable containers are lying around gathering dust or heading to landfills than is usually the case.

“We’re seeing two to three times the amount that we normally do,” said Leanne Mackey, of Mackey’s bottle and can redemption center on Bradford Street in Albany. “The lines are there before we open until after we close.”

It’s the same situation at Oliver’s beverage store on Colvin Avenue, which sells beer but also accepts empties at a counter operated by the Tomra recycling company.

“The phone calls are continuous and there is a line every day,” said manager Kevin O’Connor.

People who might normally bring nickel-deposit cans and bottles to their local supermarket are unable to do so in many instances. That’s because a number of chains have closed their container-return areas amid worries about social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has temporarily halted enforcement of the state’s bottle bill, which mandates that retailers like supermarkets accept the empties and pay for them.

Those businesses that are currently accepting the empties are consequently seeing a jump in business, with lines often running out to the street. Adding to the lines, and to the wait that people endure to redeem their bottles and cans, are the six-foot distance rules that centers are imposing and limits on how many people can enter a shop at a given time.

Despite the rush to redemption centers, environmentalists and others, including those in the industry, believe the pandemic shutdown has led to lots of stockpiling or simply discarding of empty cans and bottles.

The Container Recycling Institute, a trade association of recyclers, estimates that nearly 52 billion bottles and cans so far this year have been “landfilled, littered or incinerated,” when many could be recycled. They are also urging consumers to rinse their empties so they don’t start to smell while awaiting recycling.

Amid this image of garages filling with malodorous bags of empty beer cans, a consortium of environmental groups this week urged the state DEC to tell retailers to once again start accepting the empties, which typically fetch a nickel a piece. The group is also urging the state to start enforcing the state’s new single use plastic bag ban. That law went into effect on March 1 but the state has said it would wait until June 15 on enforcement. Retailers worried about contamination on reusable bags began offering single use plastic or paper bags amid the pandemic.

“Many consumers, having already paid the five-cent deposit, are stockpiling returnable containers at home. Social distancing must be established at the container return areas at stores, just as it has been done at check-out lines,” reads the letter signed by Beyond Plastics, the NRDC, NYPIRG, the Hudson Riverkeeper and more than a dozen others.

DEC on Wednesday said they expect that by June 3, retailers should re-start their redemption operations.

“We expect facilities across the state to take the necessary steps to resume redemption responsibilities and be in compliance once again no later than June 3,” the agency said in a prepared statement.

New York is among 10 states with bottle bills that require consumers to pay a deposit on bottles and cans, which can be redeemed when they are brought back. Many consumers bring them to supermarkets where they can feed them into automated machines that spit out a receipt for the redemption amount.

That’s what has halted at many stores.

The rush to open redemption centers is also an indication of the financial desperation that people are in.

O’Connor said people are coming from far and wide and some are laden with numerous large bags, suggesting they are doing this more for the money than the recycling aspect.

And with lines that can take several hours, some customers simply give away their bags to those who look like they really need the cash.

“There are so many people out of work,” remarked Mackey.

Her center offers six cents per returnable rather than a nickel in hopes that gives her a competitive edge over supermarkets that offer a nickel. That may also help them keep some new customers once the pandemic is lifted.

For now, the redemption centers are processing the empties as fast as they can.

And establishments like Oliver’s, which also sells beer, are seeing a jump in beverage sales as well as redemptions.

“People don’t have anything else to do and the bars are closed,” “O’Connor said.

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Walmart Policies and Guidelines

Animal Welfare - Swine Assurance Position

At Walmart and Sam’s Club we are committed to providing our customers with safe, affordable, and sustainable food as well as promoting the humane treatment of animals.  We seek continuous improvement in animal welfare practices within our fresh pork supply chain.  As a result, in addition to our current programs, Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new tracking and audit program for our fresh pork supply. Every fresh pork supplier will be required to meet the new program requirements.

Walmart and Sam’s Club will continue to only accept fresh pork from animals raised under the standards of the National Pork Board’s (NPB’s) Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus Program. Specific new tracking and audit requirements include:

  • Each fresh pork supplier must have on-farm video monitoring for sow farms and will be subject to unannounced animal welfare video audits by an accredited and independent third-party.

-  Implementation of video monitoring on sow farms must be complete on 20% of production supplied to Walmart and Sam’s Club on sow farms by the end of 2014, with another 20% of production added each year for the next 4 years. This will result in 100% coverage by the end of 2018.
-  Until all farms have video monitoring, an accredited and independent third-party will conduct annual on-site audits on farms without the technology. Farms will be given 72 hours notice. 

  • Each fresh pork supplier must implement an internal annual animal welfare audit for all farms that includes a grading system and corrective action tracking. This must occur at all farms.

-  These audits must be done by PQA Plus-certified personnel and must include annual audits and probable abuse audits.
-  These audits will be done with 72 hours notice.
-  The supplier must retain records on the audit results, including the grade, corrective actions and PQA Plus certification number.

  • Each supplier must make the documentation and results of the tracking and audit program available to Walmart as requested, but not less than twice annually. 

-  Walmart and Sam’s Club will work with suppliers to determine an acceptable level of required performance after a benchmark is determined based on the supplier information.
In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club will make the following NPB PQA Plus program requirements mandatory:

  • Each supplier must not only ensure that key management personnel are PQA Plus Certified but also require each production site to ensure that key management personnel that handle pigs are PQA Plus Certified. 
  • Each site must participate in the NPB third-party verification pool.

At Walmart and Sam’s Club we value our relationships with US pork producers who are dedicated to providing the highest in quality and safety through practices that promote animal well-being. Our goal is to build more transparency and confidence in the fresh pork supply chain and in the pork industry overall through the above program.

Animal Welfare Position

Sustainable Products at Walmart and Sam’s Club | Our Pledge to Customers/Members
Our customers and members count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver affordable products in a way that is sustainable for people and for the planet. To meet those needs, we work with partners all along the supply chain to improve the sustainability of products we sell. We do this while working to offer quality products, everyday low prices and putting customers in charge of their food choices by helping provide clear, accurate information about food ingredients and production.

Farm Animal Welfare
Farm animals provide an important and nutritious source of protein. There is growing public interest in how food is produced and consumers have questions about whether current practices match their values and expectations about the well-being of farm animals. Animal science plays a central role in guiding these practices, but does not always provide clear direction. Increasingly, animal welfare decisions are being considered through a combination of science and ethics.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. Position
We recognize that farm animals play an important role in providing nutritious meat, dairy and eggs to our customers and members. We believe that farm animals in our supply chain should be treated humanely throughout their lives and that the welfare of farm animals should be considered in selection of all production systems, practices and technologies. Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. are committed to continuous improvement in the welfare of farm animals in our supply chain.

First, we expect that our suppliers will not tolerate animal abuse of any kind.

Second, we support the globally-recognized “Five Freedoms1” of animal welfare as an aspiration for animal welfare in our supply chain:

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by ensuring prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Third, we will work with our supply chain partners to implement practices consistent with the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
What we’re asking of our suppliers
We’re asking Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. fresh and frozen meat, deli, dairy and egg suppliers to:

  1. Report to authorities and take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action in any cases of animal abuse.
  2. Adopt and implement the principles of the Five Freedoms in their own operations and industry producer programs, and publish a corporate policy on animal welfare.
  3. Find and implement solutions to address animal welfare concerns including, but not limited to:

a. Housing systems that lack sufficient space, enrichment or socialization (for example, sow gestation crates, hen battery cages and veal crates);b. Painful procedures where avoidable or without pain management (for example, tail docking, de-horning and castration);
c. Euthanasia or slaughter without rendering an animal insensible to pain2.

  1. Promote transparency by providing an animal welfare report to Walmart and publicly reporting against their animal welfare policy on an annual basis.   

1Five Freedoms.
Accessed May 6, 2015.
2Except where prohibited by dietary restriction.

Antibiotics in Farm Animals Position

Sustainable Products at Walmart and Sam’s Club | Our Pledge to Customers/Members
Our customers and members count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver affordable products in a way that is sustainable for people and for the planet. To meet those needs, we work with partners all along the supply chain to improve the sustainability of products we sell. We do this while working to offer quality products, everyday low prices and putting customers in charge of their food choices by helping provide clear, accurate information about food ingredients and production.

Antibiotics in Agriculture
Antibiotics are used in farm animals to treat, control and prevent disease and to promote growth. In the United States, antibiotics must be approved as safe and effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Many antibiotics used in animals are also used in human medicine, and are categorized by the World Health Organization as “medically-important antimicrobials1.” Antibiotics are a critical and scarce resource and their misuse may lead to antibiotic-resistance in bacteria, making human and animal disease more difficult to treat. According to the World Health Organization, Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing threat to global public health2.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. Position
We expect our suppliers to help protect the integrity of the food we sell by complying with all federal, state and local regulatory requirements as well as Walmart food safety standards. We recognize that antibiotics are one of many critical tools used to keep animals healthy and that they should be used responsibly to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine. Responsible use begins with the adoption and implementation of judicious use principles, such as those developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Judicious use includes disease prevention strategies, appropriate veterinary oversight, accurate record-keeping and careful review before antibiotics are used.

Furthermore, we believe that antibiotics should only be used for medical purposes (treatment, control and prevention of disease) and not for growth promotion.

Finally, antibiotics should be used transparently to build accountability and public trust in the food system. We support public reporting of antibiotic use. We also support consistency of on-pack product claims in order to ensure clarity and usefulness of information to our customers and members.

What We’re Asking of Our Suppliers
We’re asking Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. fresh and frozen meat, seafood, deli, dairy and egg suppliers to:

1. Comply with all federal, state and local regulatory requirements as well as Walmart food safety standards.
2. Adopt and implement  American Veterinary Medical Association Judicious Use Principles of Antimicrobials3 in their own operations and in their industry producer programs, including but not limited to:
        a. Disease prevention strategies;
        b. Appropriate veterinary oversight;
        c. Accurate records of treatment and outcomes;
        d. Careful review before antibiotics are used; and
        e. Limit medical antibiotic use to ill or at-risk animals.
3. Adopt and implement U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary Guidance for Industry #2094 (Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs) in their own operations and in their industry producer programs, including elimination of growth promotion uses of medically-important antibiotics.
4. Eliminate growth promotion uses of all antibiotics5.
5. Promote transparency by providing an antibiotics management report to Walmart and publicly reporting antibiotic use on an annual basis.

1WHO Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine.
Accessed May 6, 2015.

2WHO Media Centre. WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health.
Accessed May 6, 2015.

3AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials.
Accessed May 6, 2015.

4FDA Guidance for Industry #209: The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals.
Accessed May 6, 2015.

5Except ionophores, consistent with European classification of ionophores as non-antibiotics.

Cage-Free Egg Supply Position

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. are committed to continuous improvement and aspire to achieve the globally-recognized “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare for farm animals in our supply chain. To meet this aspiration for our egg supply, we are working alongside our suppliers on a comprehensive set of welfare priorities for laying hens. Welfare issues are complex and management is needed across a number of attributes.

In an effort to provide sustainable and high quality products for our customers, we adopt the following position on eggs in our supply chain:

  1. We will require that 100% of our shell egg supply, indiscriminate of production system, be certified and fully compliant with United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Husbandry Guidelines or equivalent standard. This includes, but is not limited to:
    a.   Only non-feed withdrawal molt methods permitted
    b.   Adherence to guidelines on beak trimming, handling and euthanasia
    c.   Requirements  for cage-free systems, as applicable, including:
              i.      An enriched environment including nests, perches and litter
              ii.      Minimum space of 1.0 square foot per hen
    d.  Annual third party audit to be conducted by USDA/AMS or Validus (as approved by UEP)
  2. By 2025, our goal is to transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply chain, subject to regulatory changes and based on available supply, affordability and customer demand.
  3. We challenge our suppliers to use selective breeding, innovation and best management practices to improve the health and welfare of laying hens. This includes improving mortality rates and reducing painful procedures like beak trimming. We will be tracking continuous improvement against these metrics as part of our Sustainability Index.

California B & P Code #22435

California B & P Code #22435 prohibits the unauthorized possession or removal of shopping carts from WALMART Stores and Sam’s Club premises.  If a WALMART or Sam’s Club shopping cart is found off the store/club premises, please call 1-800-WALMART for cart pickup.  Thank you.

Climate Policy

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. To avoid the worst effects, we all need to act now to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And business is an essential part of the solution. In 2016, Walmart was the first retailer to announce a science-based target to align with the Paris Climate Agreement, which we recently upgraded to the highest 1.5o C-degree level of ambition.

As such, Walmart will advocate for 1.5o C-aligned, science-based national and international climate policies that are consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and fairly and equitably address the needs of all stakeholders. We believe market-based, emissions-reduction policies are critical to achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions necessary to eliminating the worst effects and mitigating the impacts of climate change while supporting economic growth.

Walmart’s climate action plan starts with our science-based target for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative.1 For our Scopes 1 and 2 emissions, we have committed to an absolute reduction of 35% by 2025 and 65% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels. We are also working with suppliers through our Project Gigaton initiative to prevent one billion metric tons (or a gigaton) of Scope 3 emissions from the global value chain by 2030, compared to a base year of 2015.

For the long term, we are targeting zero emissions across our global operations by 2040, without relying on carbon offsets. We plan to achieve this goal by (1) harvesting enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to power our facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035; (2) electrifying and zeroing out emissions from our vehicle fleet by 2040; and (3) transitioning to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating and backup power generation in our stores, clubs and data and distribution centers by 2040.

Walmart will continue transparently reporting our climate-related risks and strengthening business resilience to help prepare for the effects of climate change.

The Walmart Board of Directors adopted this statement on June 3, 2021. The Board reviews our progress on climate related topics, at minimum, annually.

1 Source: Science Based Targets Initiative, – Walmart’s Scope 1 & 2 targets have been approved to be consistent with reductions necessary to keep warming below 1.5o C. Walmart’s Scope 3 targets have been approved to be consistent with reductions necessary to keep warming below 2o C.

Conflict Minerals Policy

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has adopted rules requiring publicly traded companies to report on products they manufacture or contract to manufacture that contain tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold (“3TG” or “conflict minerals”) mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries (“DRC Countries”) under circumstances that contribute to or support human rights violations.

In association with the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA’s), we worked with other retailers to produce training materials and tailor the questionnaire originally developed by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and the Global e Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) to be more specific to retail suppliers. We also engaged third party firms with specialized experience in various aspects of conflict minerals to assist Walmart in the development and implementation of our program, which includes due diligence activities consistent with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines.

Walmart understands that awareness and cooperation among its supply chain participants is essential to any responsible sourcing initiative. By holding product suppliers accountable for the principles in this policy, Walmart believes its conflict minerals program will help drive necessary transparency in the supply chain and further the ultimate goal of ending armed conflict in the DRC.

Walmart expects its product suppliers to actively support Walmart’s conflict minerals compliance efforts by:

  • adopting responsible mineral sourcing policies in dealing with their supply chains that are consistent with this policy and the OECD guidance,
  • supplying products to Walmart that do not contain 3TG minerals that have been sourced under circumstances that contribute to or support human rights violations in the DRC, and
  • providing evidence to support their representations as to the conflict minerals status of their products upon request.

More information about the efforts of the RILA Conflict Minerals Program can be found at

Coupon Policy

Updated: November 10, 2017

This policy applies to all properties owned or operated by Walmart Inc., or one of its subsidiary companies (excluding Sam’s Club locations) in the United States (Walmart).

Manufacturer Coupon Policy

To help our customers save money and live better, we gladly accept valid paper manufacturer coupons issued by manufacturers of products that Walmart sells. These paper manufacturer coupons must scan at the register and must not be expired in accordance with the following guidelines.

Coupon Guidelines - Walmart accepts the following

Manufacturer Coupons

  • Accept only one paper manufacturer coupon per item.
    • Walmart will follow the manufacturer’s limitations as stated on the coupon
      • Example: 4 coupons for the same item
    • There is no limit on the number of coupons (variety) that can be used in a total transaction
  • All coupons require the following information printed on them.
    • "Manufacturer Coupon"
    • A GS1 barcode that can be scanned
    • A valid remit billing address for the manufacturer of the product being purchased
    • A valid expiration date and must be presented before expiration
    • Walmart accepts Dollars/Cents Off coupons and BOGO (Buy One Get One Free)
  • All coupons must be presented to the cashier at the time of purchase.
    • Coupons cannot be applied after the transaction is completed or to previous purchases.
  • Items purchased must match the coupon description (brand, size, quantity, color, flavor, etc.). Acceptance of unmatched coupons is against policy and will be denied.
  • Coupons must scan at the register, as the GS1 on the coupon validates to a master file.
  • Coupons are void if copied, scanned, altered, transferred, purchased, sold, or as prohibited by law.
  • The coupon value will be applied to the price of an item allowing any overageto be applied to the transaction total.
  • In select instances, Walmart may give cash after overages are applied to the transaction total (remaining basket).
    • SNAP items purchased in a SNAP transaction are applied to the basket purchase and are ineligible for cash back.
    • WIC items purchased in a WIC transaction are applied to the basket purchase and may not be eligible for cash back. Refer to state specific WIC guidelines.
  • Walmart reserves the right to limit quantities to ‘typical retail purchases’ except in states where it is prohibited (NM).

Internet (Print-at-Home) Coupons

  • We gladly accept valid, internet manufacturer coupons for the manufacturer’s items with a GS1 barcode that scans at our register and are not expired.
  • We do not accept internet coupons for free items with no purchase requirements.
  • Internet coupons that display characteristics below will not be accepted:
  • Blurry
  • Out of proportion
  • Do not scan properly
  • Appear to be altered in any way

Buy One Get One Free Coupons (BOGO)

  • BOGO manufacturer coupons cannot be combined by using a 2nd manufacturer BOGO coupon on the 2nd item (i.e. you cannot use two BOGO manufacturer coupons on two items and get both for free). Unless stated otherwise on the coupon, the use of one Buy One Get One Free coupon requires that two of the valid items are presented at checkout of which one item will be charged to the customer at the full price and the 2nd item will be discounted by its full retail price.
  • A BOGO manufacturer coupon and a Dollar/Cent Off coupon cannot be combined (i.e. you cannot use a BOGO coupon and a Dollar/Cent Off coupon on two items). Unless stated otherwise on the coupon, the use of one Buy One Get One Free coupon requires that two of the valid items are presented at checkout of which one item will be charged to the customer at the full price and the 2nd item will be discounted by its full retail price.
  • Walmart does not accept BOGO manufacturer coupons with a percentage (i.e. buy the first item at full price get 50% off the 2nd item).


  • Returns of items purchased using Manufacturer Coupons may receive the coupon value returned in the original form of tender, thus providing the full purchase price back to the customer.
  • Coupons will not be given back upon return of the merchandise.
  • Walmart reserves the right to decline the return of items purchased with manufacturer coupons.


  • Walmart does not accept (mobile) digital coupons, (example: coupons scanned off a mobile phone).
  • Walmart does not accept expired coupons
  • Walmart does not accept counterfeit coupons (VISA, MC, AMEX, Applebee’s or any coupons made by a third party.
  • Walmart does not accept vouchers or gift certificates.
  • Walmart reserves the right to not accept UPC-A coupon barcodes.
  • Walmart reserves the right not to accept manufacturer coupons with no matching requirements (e.g. 992 family code).
  • Acceptance of unmatched manufacturer coupons to the correct purchase item is against policy and the coupon will be denied.
  • Walmart does not accept competitor /retailer coupons
  • Walmart does not accept bottle caps for redemption.
  • Walmart does not honor double or triple coupons.


  • In select circumstances a register prompt will occur during coupon transactions that require a CSM or Management to validate the manufacturer coupon(s).
  • In all situations, we reserve the right to refuse, or limit the use of any coupon and/or the subsequent return for any reason, including if the customer behavior becomes disruptive (reoccurring) or the items are deemed not to be for the purpose of using or gifting.
  • Store Management has the final decision in taking care of the customer
  • Walmart will work with the appropriate law enforcement authorities to prosecute individuals using counterfeit coupons or using coupons inappropriately.

Walmart reserves the right to update or modify the terms of the OP-41 Manufacturer Coupon Policy and it’s strategies at any time.

For further guidance, contact:

  • Store Manager
  • Market Manager
  • Walmart Store Support 700-WALMART

Environmental Sustainability Statement

Our Approach to Sustainability
In 2005, Walmart set out three aspirational goals tied to sustainability: create zero waste, operate with 100 percent renewable energy; and sell products that sustain our resources and the environment. Since that time Walmart has periodically set specific targets aimed at moving the company towards these aspirational goals. In 2020 Walmart raised our ambition and committed us on a path to become a regenerative company. That includes targeting zero emissions across the company’s global operations by 2040 and a commitment from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to help protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030. Walmart is working within our own operations and with suppliers to make progress on our goals. Walmart recognizes having environmental commitments without measuring our progress towards achieving them is not useful. Therefore, Walmart prefers to set measurable targets and publicly report progress on an annual basis in Walmart’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report, a copy of which can be found here. In addition to the specific updates found in the ESG Report, key tenets of our environmental sustainability program are highlighted below.

Compliance with Laws
At a minimum, Walmart is committed to complying with applicable environmental, health and safety (EH&S) laws and other requirements in the countries where we operate. Walmart has established programs and procedures designed to meet our compliance obligations.

Stakeholder Consultation on Environmental Sustainability Initiatives
Walmart seeks to go beyond compliance to shape its sustainability commitments and programs. To achieve this goal, Walmart works with a broad group of stakeholders to advise and shape its environmental sustainability programs. These stakeholders include customers, associates, NGOs, government officials, investors, suppliers, farmers, academics, think tanks, peer companies, grantees and others. By consulting and collaborating with individuals and organizations with broad viewpoints on important issues, Walmart can better form and implement beneficial environmental policies.

Promoting Environmental Responsibility in Our Value Chain
Walmart is committed to working with our diverse value chain to promote environmental sustainability. For example, Walmart launched Project Gigaton and has asked suppliers to join us in our efforts to remove 1 billion metric tons (Gigaton) of GHG from our value chain by 2030. Through Project Gigaton, Walmart is working with suppliers to help them make meaningful changes that reduce carbon emissions through the six key pillars of Project Gigaton: Energy, Waste, Packaging, Agriculture, Deforestation, and Product Use. We also work to drive change through engagement of suppliers through The Sustainability Insight System (THESIS) Index, a science-based, third-party tool that enables suppliers to report on key performance indicators for the most relevant environmental and social issues across the lifecycle of a product type.

Commitment to Reduce Emissions and Waste in Walmart’s Operations
As we encourage and support suppliers in their efforts to be more sustainable, we realize we must do our part as well. Walmart aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions 35% by 2025 and 65% by 2030 from 2015 levels. As part of that effort, Walmart is working to power 50 percent of our operations with renewable energy by the end of 2025 and 100% by 2035. Additionally, Walmart set a goal to achieve zero waste to landfill from our own operations in key markets by 2025 in accordance with Zero Waste International Alliance guidelines.

Support and Promote the Development of Transformation Technologies to Make Change Possible
Walmart has long supported innovative technologies that make our operations more sustainable. From being one of the first retailers to move to skylights and LED lighting, solar installations, water efficient bathroom fixtures, smart cooling towers and other transformational technologies, we have also led the way in trucking fleet efficiency by utilizing cutting-edge aerodynamic designs and installing idle reduction systems on our trucks. Walmart is committed to continue working internally and with suppliers to develop and deploy innovative technologies that are designed to reduce our impact on the environment.

Firearms and Ammunition Guidelines

Walmart has a long heritage as a company of serving hunters and sportsmen and women. Our focus has always been to do so responsibly, including taking many measures that go beyond what’s required by law.

Where We Sell Firearms and Ammunition
Walmart sells firearms in approximately half of our U.S. supercenter stores. While we are not the largest volume firearms seller in the United States, we do serve many areas of the country where there is a concentration of hunters and sportsmen/women.

Items We Sell
Walmart sells long guns for hunting and sport shooting, including shotguns, single-shot hunting rifles and light sporting rifles, as well as BB and pellet guns.

Items We Don’t Sell
Walmart does not sell military-style rifles, such as the AR-15, or any type of AR-15 accessory, including bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. These items are also listed on our prohibited items list for online marketplace sellers. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and help ensure our policies are applied.

As of September 2019, we have discontinued the sale of:

  • handguns, which were previously sold only in our Alaska stores
  • ammunition for handguns
  • ammunition for short-barrel rifles such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large-capacity clips on military-style weapons
  • ammunition like the .300 Blackout, 7.62x.39 and .224 Valkyrie

Who Can Buy Firearms and Ammunition at Walmart
In February 2018, we announced our decision to sell firearms and ammunition only to individuals who are 21 and older.

Walmart only sells a firearm after receiving a “green light” on a background check. This goes beyond federal law, which only requires the absence of a “red light” after a three-business day waiting period. We require a “green light,” regardless of the time period.

Selling Firearms Responsibly
Walmart takes steps above and beyond what is required by law to sell firearms in a responsible way, including:

  • videotaping the point of sale for firearms;
  • allowing only select associates who have passed a criminal background check to sell firearms;
  • conducting regular associate training;
  • performing inventory audits; and
  • securing firearms in a locking case, among other important measures.

Walmart associates who are authorized to sell firearms are specifically trained on all firearm policies and procedures. Associates who fail to follow the policies and procedures are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Walmart is a charter member of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, organized by Walmart and Everytown for Gun Safety.

We have committed to work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our own best practices. This system navigates tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where a firearm is sold and who is purchasing. We hope that freely sharing this information will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner.

Open Carry of Firearms
Motivated by our desire to create a safe environment in our stores and clubs, we request that customers no longer openly carry firearms into Walmart or Sam’s Club locations in states where open carry is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement. As of September 2019, we are working to create and display new signage to help communicate this policy.

We will continue to follow state and local laws regarding concealed carry permit holders.

Last updated: September 3, 2019

Forests Policy

Last Updated: 9-20-2020

Sustainable Products at Walmart
Our customers count on Walmart to deliver affordable products in a way that is sustainable for people and for the planet, through actions that build transparency and trust. We work with others, including suppliers, NGOs, and governments, all along the supply chain to help improve the sustainability of products we sell. We do this while aiming to offer quality products at affordable prices with a time-saving shopping experience.

Sustainable Forests
Walmart recognizes the important role of healthy forests for society, as well as for our business. Forests provide numerous benefits to people and the planet: a home for people that live in forests, habitat for a vast number of species, carbon storage, and water flow regulation and purification. Forests are directly responsible for 1 in 4 people’s livelihoods, they are important sources for products like paper and furniture, and they provide fundamental environmental services that people and agriculture depend upon.1 As the global population increases, Walmart believes that changes to sourcing and production of products are necessary in order to continue to meet the expectations of our customers and to help preserve forests as a resource.

Walmart also acknowledges the importance of indigenous peoples and local communities in preserving and protecting forests.

Walmart’s Position
Walmart understands that our aspiration to deliver more sustainable products means leveraging our position as a trusted retailer and brand to secure important habitats and biodiversity, while working to reduce our carbon footprint. We believe we can deliver the greatest impact by creating a higher demand for products produced with no deforestation, supporting and enabling transparency, and investing in sustainable sourcing regions.

As a member of the Consumer Goods Forum, we supported the resolution to achieve zero net deforestation in our supply chain by 2020. In furtherance our goals, Walmart is focused on key commodities that, according to the World Economic Forum, are responsible for global deforestation in tropical forests: palm oil, pulp and paper, timber, beef, and soy.2 For example, beef and soy production is driving more than two-thirds of the recorded habitat loss in Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado regions, and Argentina and Paraguay’s Gran Chaco.3 Although we are focused on these commodities, we recognize that additional production types also contribute to deforestation such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, and forest-based fabrics. We encourage our suppliers of these types of products to work to source products that do not contribute to deforestation and conversion. We ask suppliers to avoid deforestation and conversion of natural habitats, to encourage conservation solutions, and to increase the use of recycled content. We also recognize the importance of embedding the following principles in sourcing policies, procedures, and practices across their supply chains:

  • Protect high conservation value (HCV) areas and high carbon stock (HCS) forests.
  • Involve no burning in the preparation of new plantings, re-plantings, or any other developments, including the management of existing plantations.
  • Avoid new developments on peatlands regardless of depth.
  • No illegal harvesting of any commodity, or in violation of basic human rights as defined by the country of operation.
  • Encourage agroforestry and forest management best practices.

There are two common ways to measure deforestation: measuring change in tree cover or change in the use of land. For purposes of this policy, Walmart looks to the definition of deforestation used in the country of origin. Walmart will continue to work with multi-stakeholder initiatives to address deforestation and conversion in high risk origins.

Walmart recognizes that no company can solve deforestation on its own and that we must leverage our ability to promote sustainable agricultural and forestry production and sourcing beyond our private brands. We have made progress against our original 2020 goals, but we know that more work is needed in the short and long term to stop the continued loss of critical landscapes across the globe. We recognize the importance of collaboration with our suppliers, our peers, governments and NGOs to address deforestation and promote sustainable production at an industry level. This will require new approaches and solutions at the jurisdictional, landscape, and producer level that drive results on the ground by engaging governments, non-profits, producers, and other companies to improve policy and promote clear demand signals for more sustainable products.

We will publicly share our progress annually and will continue to engage in the development and use of public disclosure tools and reports.

Key Commodities
Palm Oil
Palm oil is an ingredient in a variety of food and consumer products and is also widely used as cooking oil in many parts of the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, high demand for palm oil has contributed to deforestation, which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere through burning of forested lands and elimination of carbon sinks. This also leads to the destruction of habitat for endangered species and conflict over land and natural resources.4

Walmart’s Goal
By 2025, Walmart’s aim is that private brand products containing any form of palm oil (crude, refined, palm kernel oil, fractions, expellers, and derivatives) will be sourced with no deforestation or conversion in accordance with the principles and criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) segregated supply chain systems, or equivalent standards.

Our Approach
For all Walmart private brand products, we ask our global suppliers to:

  • Use only palm oil sourced in accordance with the principles and criteria of the RSPO (segregated supply chain systems), or equivalent standards, by the end of 2025.
  • Maintain (and make available upon request to Walmart) comprehensive records about the volume of palm oil and verification of sustainable palm oil used in Walmart private brand products on an annual basis, as well as disclose the origin (geographic region, country, state/province, plantation, and trader) through public monitoring and geospatial transparency platforms.
  • Maintain comprehensive records and reports about the volume of palm oil and verification of deforestation and conversion-free palm oil sold to Walmart, as well as the origin. Annually demonstrate deforestation and conversion-free palm sourcing to the plantation of origin through traceability reports or verifiable monitoring tools.

We ask that all national brand suppliers to Walmart using palm oil use only palm sourced in accordance with the principles and criteria of the RSPO (mass balance and segregated supply chain systems), or equivalent standards, by the end of 2025 and report progress annually.

Pulp, Paper, and Timber Products
Sustainable sourcing of pulp, paper, paperboard, and timber is an important means to foster forest health. Sustainable sourcing of these products is important to foster forest health and to secure availability of forest resources into the future. Sustainable forest management protects biodiversity, High Conservation Value (HV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas, enhances ecosystem functions and water quality and quantity, helps prevent conversion of natural forests to plantations or other land uses, helps promote indigenous peoples’ and worker rights, and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

Walmart’s Goal
By 2025, Walmart’s goal is that private brand products made of pulp, paper, and timber will be sourced deforestation and conversion-free. Walmart aims to implement sustainable pulp, paper, and timber procurement practices that promote sustainable management, conservation, protection and restoration of the world’s forests.

Our Approach
For all Walmart private brand products, we ask our global suppliers to:

  • Proactively conduct risk assessments to understand forest fiber and timber sources, species used, and transition supply away from higher risk sources to certified and/or recycled sources.
  • Source virgin fiber and timber only from sources certified to internationally recognized forest, fiber, and chain-of-custody certification standards. We expect suppliers to be able to track and report the origin of their fiber raw materials. We recognize Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), and Program for Forest Endorsement (PEFC) certification programs. We ask our global private brand suppliers to source virgin fiber and timber originating from high-priority countries5 in accordance with full FSC certification of forest management by the end of 2025, when it is available in quantities, performance characteristics and prices that meet our suppliers’ needs.
  • Work to increase the use of recycled content where feasible. The use of recycled fiber has reached high levels in some paper grades, but there are still opportunities to increase recycled fiber usage where technical and quality specifications allow.
  • Maintain (and make available upon request to Walmart) comprehensive records about the volume of pulp, paper, and timber products and certification status of fiber and recycled content used in Walmart private brand products, as well as the country of origin and wood species used to make the fiber, through public monitoring and geospatial transparency platforms.

Beef production is the leading driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and the Cerrado, a wooded savannah south and east of the Amazon.6 Growing demand for beef, leather, and other products is expected to continue to exert significant pressure on other ecologically important regions such as Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia.7 These are some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world and play critical roles in the global climate.8

Walmart’s Goal
By the end of 2022, Walmart aims to only source fresh beef from the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay that has been produced with no deforestation or conversion. Walmart also aims to increase transparency and monitoring in the beef industry while helping to promote productivity increases on existing cattle lands that meet sustainable grassland management, conservation, protection, and restoration expectations. Walmart will continue to advocate, alongside multi-stakeholder initiatives, NGOs, suppliers and others, to make deforestation and conversion-free production the norm in the industry.

Our Approach
We ask all Walmart fresh beef suppliers sourcing from Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to:

  • Source and use only beef that has been produced deforestation and conversion-free across the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay by the end of 2022; report traceability of the beef chain with geospatial mapping for risk assessment through full chain of custody traceability. This should include direct and indirect supply chain controls.
  • Maintain (and make available upon request to Walmart) comprehensive records about the volume of beef and verification of zero deforestation and conversion beef sold to Walmart, as well as the origin (slaughterhouse name and location, full farm traceability with names and locations, and date of slaughter from both direct and indirect farms). Maintain comprehensive time-bound plans and clear milestones regarding sourcing deforestation and conversion-free beef sold to Walmart.

Soy is a crop that has been associated with the conversion of some of the most species-rich lands in the world, leading to increased deforestation.9 Soy is prevalent in food products, used for protein, to make vegetable oils, and as a key ingredient in many processed foods.10 Between 70% and 75% of all soy becomes livestock feed—for chickens, pigs, and farmed fish, as well as for cows.11 Soy production is one of the commodities driving more than two-thirds of the recorded habitat loss in Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado regions and Argentina and Paraguay’s Gran Chaco region.12

Walmart’s Goal
By 2023, Walmart aims to only source soy that has been produced with no deforestation or conversion. In addition, Walmart supports the indefinite extension of the Soy Moratorium in Brazil’s Amazon region and encourages suppliers to publicly endorse the agreement. Walmart also actively supports regional agreements regarding deforestation and conversion-free production in additional high-risk biomes. This includes multi-stakeholder and government engagement in critical higher-risk regions, such as the Amazon and the Cerrado to achieve deforestation and conversion-free production at the regional level with geospatial monitoring.

Our Approach
We ask all Walmart private brand suppliers selling products containing soy (both as an ingredient and in feed for animal products) from Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to:

  • Maintain a footprint analysis to identify sourcing from higher-risk countries and demonstrate that sources can be traced at country, state, and regional level.
  • Source and use only soy (including directly purchased soy and its derivatives and soy used in raw meat, eggs, and dairy feed) that has been produced deforestation and conversion-free across the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay by the end of 2023.
  • For any soy sourced from the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay, suppliers are asked to demonstrate that the soy is deforestation and conversion-free by:

1. Sourcing soy certified by any of the following certification schemes (this list will be kept under review as other schemes are introduced), or equivalent standards:


2. Maintaining and reporting comprehensive records about the volume of soy and verification of deforestation and conversion-free soy sold to Walmart, as well as the origin (production farm and crushing plant). Annually demonstrate deforestation and conversion-free sourcing to the plantation of origin through traceability reports or verifiable geospatial monitoring tools.

National Brands
We encourage our national brand suppliers to set similar goals and communicate annually on their progress.

Restoring Critical Forests
Walmart recognizes the value of restoring the world’s most critical forests. Forest restoration can have many benefits, including increased resilience to climate change in global communities, improved carbon capture and storage in critical landscapes, and enhanced biodiversity, ecosystem, and societal benefits.13

Walmart encourages all suppliers to support restoration and reforestation initiatives. We ask our suppliers to join Project Gigaton, set goals to restore forests in their supply chains, and report progress annually. More information on these type of efforts can be found on Walmart’s Sustainability Hub.

Supporting Landscape and Place-Based Approaches
In addition to the supply chain actions listed above, Walmart encourages suppliers to engage in place-based approaches (both at the jurisdictional and landscape-level) to leverage positive change beyond individual supply chains and to help accelerate deforestation-free commodity production systems at scale.

These actions will vary by jurisdiction and region, but could include:

  • Becoming involved in a jurisdictional initiative by participating in steering committees or engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogue.
  • Committing to source from jurisdictions and landscapes that are pursuing, or have achieved, deforestation-free status.
  • Providing funds and/or technical support to producers, extension centers, projects, and the establishment of local initiatives working to promote deforestation and conversion-free practices.

For more information, please visit the Walmart Sustainability Hub.

5 Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Central, African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), and Zambia (Source: CDP High-Deforestation Risk Jurisdictions List, GCP, 2016)

Fur Friendly Policy

Walmart U.S. and 1P has a fur friendly policy in place. We do not sell products containing the actual fur of an animal. The following products are excluded from the policy: wool products, shearling and skin (e.g. leather, calf-hair leather, sheepskin and lambskin).

Global Anti-Corruption Policy

Effective: June 29, 2012
Last Reviewed: January 22, 2021

Walmart Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide (collectively "Walmart" or the "Company"), are committed to maintaining the highest possible ethical standards and complying with all applicable laws. In all of its operations, Walmart seeks to avoid even the appearance of impropriety with respect to the actions of any of its officers, directors, associates, employees, agents or representatives. This policy prohibits corrupt payments in all circumstances, whether in dealings with government officials or individuals in the private sector.

General Directives
It is the policy of Walmart to comply with all relevant Anti-Corruption laws including, but not limited to, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and the UK Bribery Act.

Accordingly, Walmart prohibits anyone acting on behalf of the Company, directly or indirectly, from making or receiving improper payments.

Improper payments means receiving or paying bribes or giving, offering, or promising to give money or anything else of value to any person, including any Government Official, in order to improperly influence any act or decision of a person, or to otherwise gain an improper benefit for the Company.

A Government Official may include, but is not limited to, any officer or employee of a foreign government, a public international organization, a member of a political party, a candidate for foreign political office, any foreign government department or agency thereof, or any official or employee of a state-owned business enterprise.

The use of Walmart funds or assets for any illegal, improper, or unethical purpose is strictly prohibited.

Compliance with this Global Anti-Corruption Policy (the “Policy”) is required of all associates and third parties that are engaged to interact or may interact with government officials on the Company’s behalf. All associates are responsible for ensuring that third parties with whom they interact fully understand and follow the policy and associated procedures in their activities related to Walmart business.

Any associate or third party who violates this policy in connection with Walmart business will be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination in the case of an associate, or termination of business relations in the case of a third party and, where appropriate, referral of the matter to relevant law enforcement authorities.

Global Implementation of Anti-Corruption Program 
To effectively implement this policy, Walmart shall maintain an effective risk-based Global Anti-Corruption Program (the "Program") designed to prevent, detect, and remediate bribery and recordkeeping violations. As part of the program, Walmart shall adopt operating procedures specifically targeted to the corruption risks that exist for all of its operations, worldwide. Management in each affected area shall be responsible for ensuring that adequate resources are devoted to maintaining effective compliance programs. A senior executive at Walmart Inc., shall be given overall responsibility for the Program, and shall report regularly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Walmart Inc., which shall exercise reasonable oversight as to the implementation and effectiveness of the Program.

The procedures and governance used to implement this policy, shall include, at a minimum:

  • Effective controls on the disbursement of funds and other assets to ensure that disbursements are not made for improper purposes;
  • Measures to ensure that books and records accurately reflect the disposition of assets;
  • Clearly articulated standards of behavior as included in Walmart's Code of Conduct, which shall be well publicized to all of Walmart's operations, worldwide;
  • Clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines for day-to-day management and implementation of the compliance procedures;
  • Effective training of executives, associates and, where appropriate, third parties regarding relevant anti-corruption standards and procedures;
  • Testing by Internal Audit or a third party for compliance with the anti-corruption procedures, including review of expenditures for operations that interact with government officials;
  • Corruption risk assessments conducted annually;
  • Conducting due diligence of third parties engaged to interact with government officials on behalf of the Company;
  • Effectively publicized means to report or seek guidance on actual or potential anti-corruption issues, as well as procedures for responding to such reports or requests;
  • Regular review and, if necessary, revisions or updates to this policy and to the related procedures where appropriate, including in response to legal, regulatory, or industry changes or violations of the Anti-Corruption Policy;
  • Appropriate incentives and punishments for associates, executives and third parties for adherence to or violations of, respectively, the relevant policy and related procedures.

Every associate or third party who has information that this policy or related procedures may have been violated, or believes he or she is being asked to pay a bribe or receive a bribe, or otherwise act in contravention of this policy shall immediately report the event directly to Global Ethics & Compliance.

All reports to Ethics & Compliance are treated as confidentially as possible. It helps with follow-up if you identify yourself. If you are not comfortable identifying yourself, you can make anonymous reports to the Ethics Helpline to the extent allowed by law.

Contact Information for Global Ethics & Compliance:
Walmart's Global Ethics Helpline: 800-WM-ETHIC (800-963-8442) (in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, or your local phone number which is listed at the end of our Code)
Mail: Attention: Global Ethics & Compliance, 702 SW 8th Street, Bentonville, AR 72716-0860
Email: [email protected]

Specific country contact information can also be found on

Reporting an issue in good faith will not get you in trouble, even if you make an honest mistake. Knowingly reporting false information is contrary to our values and will be subject to disciplinary action. Also, anyone who reports a suspected violation may be subject to disciplinary action to the extent he or she violated any Walmart policy or procedure.

This information does not create an express or implied contract of employment or any other contractual commitment. Walmart may modify this information at its sole discretion without notice, at any time, consistent with applicable law. Employment with Walmart is on an at-will basis, which means that either Walmart or the associate is free to terminate the employment relationship at any time for any or no reason, consistent with applicable law.

Last Modified: January 22, 2021

Global Forced Labor Prevention Policy

Walmart respects the basic rights of workers and complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the locations where we operate. The use of any form of forced or trafficked labor anywhere in our own operations and supply chain is prohibited. Walmart will not intentionally use forced labor, including underage labor or involuntary prison labor, and we will take actions to exclude forced labor from our own operations and supply chain.

Our Walmart Standards for Suppliers sets our expectations for suppliers of product sold to or sourced by Walmart. Products should not be produced using forced labor, including underage labor or involuntary prison labor. We believe suppliers should cascade these expectations throughout their supply chains—including to raw material, component, or ingredient suppliers. We also expect our third-party service providers to prohibit the use of forced labor, including underage labor or involuntary prison labor, in their operations.

Target Audience
Preventing forced labor in our operations and working with suppliers to prevent forced labor is the responsibility of all associates. All associates are expected to comply with this Policy. In particular, any leader or People team member who is in a position to hire workers, especially third-party contract labor, must understand the relevant risks of forced labor. In addition, all merchant and sourcing associates are expected to understand the relevant risks of forced labor. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Walmart also expects our suppliers, vendors, service providers, and other third parties to uphold our Forced Labor Prevention principles and compliance requirements. Specific requirements for third parties are included in the Walmart Standards for Suppliers and/or in our contracts and agreements.

Forced Labor Prevention Principles
For purposes of this Policy, we uphold the following principles:

  • Recruit responsibly. Workers should not pay recruitment or similar fees to obtain employment, even if the fees are allowed under local law. Workers should be appropriately authorized to work, including meeting local legal age requirements and relevant legal requirements for migrant workers.
  • Communicate and follow the terms and conditions of employment. Terms and conditions of employment should be communicated to workers in a language they understand, and changes should be communicated transparently. Wages should be paid regularly and in alignment with local law. Wages should not be withheld or subject to illegal or excessive deductions. Workers should not be subject to excessive working hours, as defined by local laws and ordinances.
  • Allow workers should have freedom of movement. Workers should have the ability to move freely and should not be restricted by their employer through abuse, physical force, or threats of violence or reprisals. Workers should retain control over their personal identification documents and other valuable possessions. Workers should be free to terminate employment upon reasonable notice.

What to Do

All Associates:

  • Know and understand the Global Labor and Employment Policy and the Global Responsible Sourcing Compliance Policy
  • Escalate concerns of forced labor by contacting a member of management or the Global Ethics Helpline via phone: + 1 (800) 963-8442 (local contact numbers can be found on, web: or email: [email protected] We prohibit taking negative action against any individual for reporting in good faith conduct that violates this Policy or cooperating in an investigation.

All Managers or People team members in a position to hire associates and contract third-party labor:

  • Follow company procedures and policies relating to hiring, retaining, and promoting talent, as well as all relevant procedures for identifying and managing third party contract labor, and onboarding and managing relationships with suppliers
  • Do not knowingly:
    • Hire associates who have been recruited under forced labor conditions or
    • Allow contract laborers who are working under forced labor conditions to work at Walmart sites or on Walmart projects

All merchant and sourcing associates:

  • Do not knowingly buy or source from suppliers that are producing products for Walmart using forced labor, including underage labor or involuntary prison labor, in their operations or their supply chain
  • Communicate expectations and hold suppliers accountable to the Walmart Standards for Suppliers and our Forced Labor Prevention requirements

Walmart U.S. GMO Position

Walmart has pledged to deliver on trust and transparency for our customers and the communities we serve. We are committed to selling food and products that meet high standards for safety, quality and affordability. Customers are also more interested than they were in recent decades in understanding where their food comes from, what’s in it and how it’s made. Walmart welcomes this development, and we are working on ways to help them make more informed buying decisions. In that regard, we supported legislation passed by Congress in 2016 that provided a uniform standard for the disclosure of bioengineered (BE) ingredients and foods, often referred to as GMOs. We are actively working with our private brand suppliers to meet the disclosure requirements established though USDA bioengineered labeling regulations.

We believe in providing our customers choices when shopping with Walmart. For our customers who prefer to avoid bioengineered foods, we offer a wide selection of USDA certified organic products. By law, bioengineered ingredients are not allowed in the organic program. In FY2020, we started revamping our produce areas that included making organic offerings easier to find, and better highlighting fresh produce prices to emphasize affordability.

We require that all suppliers meet USDA and FDA regulations. The USDA and FDA make no nutrition or health distinction between GMO and non-GMO products and ingredients.

Government Relations Policy

Updated: May 2, 2013

This policy applies to all associates who work for Walmart Inc., or one of its subsidiary companies, in the United States ("Walmart"). 


Walmart’s Government Relations Departments (US Government Relations, Public Affairs and Government Relations) coordinate company interactions with elected officials and legislative and regulatory bodies at the federal, state and local level.  To help ensure consistent management of these relationships, all conversations and engagement with elected officials or government agencies should be done in coordination with your Government Relations contact.  Associates wishing to represent Walmart’s corporate position on public policy or political matters should seek guidance from Government Relations before expressing such views.  In addition, all such interactions with public officials, including their support staff, should be reported to Government Relations, as certain contact can constitute “lobbying” which is reportable. 

Government Relations, partnership with Corporate Affairs, coordinates the activities and administration of the Walmart Inc., Political Action Committee for Responsible Government (WAL-PAC).  WAL-PAC is the primary entity authorized to make political contributions in support of our business.  Corporate funds shall not be provided to political candidates, entities or organizations without the express knowledge and consent of Government Relations. 

If you are approached by a political candidate or organization in your store or club, please call the Home Office Government Relations at 479-277-0934. 

Please refer any other questions in the area to Government Relations at the number listed above. 

  • With respect to fundraising, the following rules shall apply in addition to all applicable laws: Officers of Walmart may distribute political literature or engage in political solicitation, as approved by an Executive Vice President.
  • Associates assigned to the Corporate Affairs Department may engage in political solicitation or political distribution, as approved by the Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs.

For further guidance, contact:
Government Relations

For further information on our federal and state policy oriented activities please click here.

Human Rights Statement

Our Business and Values
Walmart’s purpose is to save people money and help them live better. We achieve our purpose through our associates and recognize that our associates make the difference. Through our business, we provide customers with convenient access to safe, affordable products and services; contribute to the community; create career opportunities; and provide opportunities for suppliers to grow their businesses that, in turn, employ others.

Walmart respects human rights; our work is guided by our values:

  • Service to the customer
  • Respect for the individual
  • Strive for excellence
  • Act with integrity

We engage in diverse business activities across the globe, with more than two million full-time and part-time associates from a variety of ethnicities, orientations, backgrounds and life experiences. Our associates also are members of thousands of local communities around the world. We endeavor to act in an ethical and responsible manner and have policies and procedures in place to guide our decisions and behaviors.

Our associate base is large, our supply chain reaches thousands of suppliers and we serve millions of customers in communities around the world through our store presence as well as online. We are mindful that many adverse human rights risks are complex and can be the result of systemic issues, making it challenging for any single organization to have an impact. When it comes to addressing these human rights issues, we seek to go beyond our own policies and procedures by working collaboratively with other stakeholders to inform our approach and identify root causes; sharing our work with others; and using our leverage to help drive positive change.

We identify our salient human rights priorities based on relevance to our company purpose, key categories and markets; the scale and severity of the potential human rights risk; and Walmart’s ability to make a difference. Our response to human rights issues is informed by international instruments including, but not limited to, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We have also taken into consideration input from relevant internal and external stakeholders and experts.

This statement describes Walmart’s approach to human rights in all aspects of policiesour operations globally, including all associates at all levels of the organization.

A Foundation of Compliance
Governments have the responsibility to protect and uphold human rights of their citizens. Walmart respects those human rights and complies with the laws of the countries in which we operate. We expect our associates, suppliers, contractors and others within our sphere of influence to act accordingly.

We respect the basic rights of workers as those rights are defined under applicable law in the countries in which we operate and from which we source the products we sell. Those basic rights include freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, the effective abolition of underage labor and the elimination of discrimination in respect to employment and occupation.

Our Values in Action

Service to the Customer
Our customers are the reason we’re in business. We strive to meet and exceed their expectations by providing safer, more affordable, more accessible, healthier and more sustainable goods and services.

Respect for the Individual
We believe in treating all people with respect, whether it is a co-worker, supplier, customer or any person doing business with us. This means treating one another with fairness and dignity in all our interactions in the workplace and as members of society. We also seek and embrace differences in people, ideas and experiences.

We recognize there are different views about freedom of association. Our view is, consistent with applicable law, that Walmart respects the rights of associates to join, form or not to join an employee association or trade union of their choice without interference. Associates should exercise these rights in an informed manner, and with the benefit of thoughtful consideration and available information. In the exercise of these rights, we believe in the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information, provided there is no interference.

Strive for Excellence
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, wanted his company to be a force for good, and we seek to use our scale, capabilities and influence to help people and communities. This spirit is an important component for how we engage on human rights topics to drive meaningful change. We find this approach not only mitigates risk—it can generate significant, lasting value for our business and for society.

Act with Integrity
Acting with integrity guides how we approach our work on human rights. To implement this work, we:

  • Assess, on an ongoing basis, potential adverse human rights impacts, the severity of the potential impact, and the relevant processes in place;
  • Integrate relevant findings into policies and procedures, based upon the assessment;
  • Track progress as part of Walmart’s efforts to continuously improve;
  • Communicate with relevant internal and external stakeholders to help shape and inform our work and priorities; and
  • Adjust our human rights priorities, as needed.

While there exist a variety of mechanisms—including those offered by governments—to raise and seek redress of actual or perceived human rights concerns, Walmart also has developed its own grievance mechanisms to enable workers, customers, workers in the supply chain, communities where we operate and other stakeholders to be heard and be given proper consideration. These mechanisms include, but are not limited to, our anonymous ethics hotlines and longstanding Open Door Communications Policy for associates, and the internal structures that support resolution of each issue raised. We encourage stakeholders to raise concerns and to report activities they suspect may contravene the values and positions we express in this statement or any Walmart policy. We will not retaliate against any party for raising concerns in good faith.

We seek to be transparent about our human rights efforts and will periodically provide additional details, inclusive of our priorities, through our Global Responsibility Report or similar means. The work is overseen by company executives and led by a cross-functional team, relying upon and developing standards, programs and practices, training and reporting.

Our Code of Conduct articulates how we promote our culture of integrity across the company and is the foundation of our approach to human rights. Our Standards for Suppliers forms the basis of our work to address social issues in the supply chain of goods for resale. Our Diversity & Inclusion website lays out how we build an inclusive workplace culture where every associate feels empowered to bring their authentic self to work every day.

The Walmart Board of Directors approved this statement on November 2, 2018. The Board reviews our progress on human rights, at minimum, annually.

Non-Discrimination - Healthcare Services

Valued Healthcare Customer:
At Walmart, we respect the dignity of each individual who visits our stores and are committed to making our goods, services, and facilities accessible to everyone.

Walmart does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and strictly prohibits retaliation against any person making a complaint of discrimination. Additionally, we gladly provide our healthcare customers with language assistance, auxiliary aids and services at no cost. We value you as our patient and your satisfaction is important to us.

If you need assistance or have concerns with your healthcare services, please speak with the Walmart Pharmacy, Vision Center, or Care Clinic manager. If you are not satisfied, please contact us using one of the methods below so that we can better serve you.

To learn about or use our grievance process, contact the office of our Vice President, US Ethics and Employment Compliance at 1-800-WM-Ethic, or [email protected]

To file a complaint of discrimination, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019 or 1-800-537-7697 (TDD), or [email protected]

Photo and Video Use Policy

Price Match Policy

We will match and base price, for identical items purchased in a Walmart store.

  • The customer must inform the associate of the price
  • The item must be currently in-stock on at the time the Price Match is requested
  • We reserve the right to verify the price and the availability of the identical item (i.e., size, model, quantity, brand, or color, etc.)

· If the register prompts for supervisor approval, the supervisor must verify the price and availability of the identical item (i.e., size, model, quantity, brand, or color, etc.), by logging onto the website through a store terminal, before the price will be matched.

  • We reserve the right to limit quantities to one-per-customer, per item, per day

Quantities are limited in New Mexico only for the purchase for resale
We do not match:

  • Prices from Walmart Marketplace Retailers or the Marketplace Retailers of competitors, third-party sellers, auction sites, or sites requiring membership
  • Bundle offers, Instant Rebates, Mail-in Offers, Offers that include financing, Advertisements that require a purchase to receive a gift card, Percentage Off, or Buy One Get One Free advertisements without a specified price
  • Prices from other Walmart or Neighborhood Market stores
  • Competitor advertised price

The Price Match offered above is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

The manager on duty has the final decision on any Price match.

Walmart reserves the right to modify the terms of this policy at any time.

This policy applies only to purchases made at a US Walmart store. For details on the Price Match Policy for purchases made on, please see

Last Updated: January 20, 2017

Privacy Policy

At Walmart, our customers are number one - always. That's why everything we do is focused on providing excellent customer service and delivering low prices.

The information you share with Walmart allows us to provide the products and services you need and want while giving you the very best shopping experience. 

Our founder Sam Walton reminded us that "a promise we make is a promise we keep," and it's our promise to customers that we respect the trust you place in us and the privacy of the information you share. Part of providing superior customer service includes making sure that we're building a relationship of trust with customers. Our way of doing that is to let you know in a clear, prominent, and easily accessible way how we collect, use, share, and above all protect your personal information. 

Our Policy outlines:

  • How and why we collect your personal information;
  • How your personal information is used and protected;
  • When and with whom we share your personal information; and
  • What choices you can make about how we collect, use, and share your personal information.

View our Privacy Policy

Return Policy

Temporary Return Policy Update

Effective: March 6, 2021

All stores have resumed our standard return policy for new purchases, subject to certain restrictions based on state or local ordinances that remain applicable, such as in New Jersey.

Walmart Return Policy

Updated: October 1, 2021

Una copia de esta política está disponible en español.

This policy applies to returns of products purchased in Walmart U.S. stores, or from Marketplace sellers on

  • Not 100% Satisfied? We Are Happy to Help.

    To exchange or return an item, here is what you need to know:

    You have 90 days after purchase to exchange or return an item unless noted in our exceptions. Please provide your store receipt or order number and we will refund your purchase to the original form of payment.

    Save time by starting your return in the Walmart App or at No account? Start here:

    No receipt? We can look up store purchases with a debit/credit card or online orders with a phone number or email.

  • Our Guarantees

    (WIC/SNAP restrictions apply)

    Fresh Guarantee: Receive a refund on Produce, Fresh Flowers, Meat, Bakery, Deli, Dairy & Frozen* items with a receipt. Start a return on the App or at You may not have to return the item.

    Recall Guarantee: Recalled items are issued a cash refund regardless of purchase condition.

    Not 100% Satisfied with a Walmart Private Brand Item? We’ll replace it or refund your money. All you need is the package.

    ExtendedHoliday Returns: Most items** with less than a 90-day return window purchased or delivered from November 1st through December 25th begin the return period on December 26th.

    90-Day Automotive Battery Guarantee: Money backrefund or exchange to original purchaser if battery tests bad within 90 days. After 90 days, the original purchaser can only exchange the battery per the warranty terms.

    *Perishable Online Orders cannot be returned by mail. To receive a refund, go to or the App to start the return.
    **Online Marketplace seller participation varies, please check Details link on the item page.

  • Our Refund and Exchange Exceptions

    Your item may have return restrictions and/or special instructions (e.g., Marketplace items, freight/oversized/heavy items, luxury products, hazardous materials). See below for more details or check

    Receipt Required Items:
    • Most Wireless Phones can be returned within 14 days.
    • Consumer Electronics, Verizon Postpaid Wireless Phones, Electric Scooters, Hoverboards, Walmart Protection Plans and AppleCare+ can be returned within 30 days. Learn how to cancel a Walmart Protection Plan or AppleCare+.
    • Prescription Glasses, Contact Lenses and Hearing Aids can be returned within 60 days.
    • Trees, Perennials, and Shrubs can be returned in-store within 1 year.
    • Unopened Tobacco and Alcohol products can only be returned to the original store of purchase.

    Home & Garden equipment:must be returned within 90 days.Please drain gasoline or other flammable materials prior to returning. (e.g., lawn mowers, line trimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, generators, air conditioners, evaporators, dehumidifiers, compressors, and pressure washers).DO NOT remove Freon from AC units. For items, please check the item page to confirm it is returnable by mail.

    Tires: New tires that have not been mounted or installed are returnable within 90 days to any store with an Auto Care Center. Stores without an Auto Care Center cannot accept tire returns.

    Photo prints, personalized items and photo products (e.g., blankets, mugs, calendars): are returnable within 90 days to a store or contact us at Please do not return by mail.
  • Exchange Only Items

    Funeral products:(e.g., caskets, coffins) can be exchanged within 90 days if damaged or defective and unused. New or used items are nonrefundable.

    Some products if opened or used can only be exchanged for an exact or similar item as follows:
    • Unlocked wireless phones within 14 days*
    • Air beds/air mattresses within 90 days*
    • Durable medical equipment within 90 days* (i.e., crutches, walkers, slings, mobility scooters)
    *New/unopened items can be returned for a full refund.
  • Items Ineligible for Return/Refund/Replacement

    To help keep our customers and associates safe Walmart and Marketplace sellers will not replace, accept returns, or provide refunds for:
    Firearms & AmmunitionPrescription Medications and Devices
    Airsoft & Air Guns, BB Guns, CrossbowsItems containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine
    Pepper SpraySex Toys & Vibrators, Pregnancy Tests, Ovulation Tests, & Home Diagnostic Testing Kits
    Gas Powered Recreational Vehicles (e.g., Dirt Bikes, Mini-Bikes, Scooters, Ride-ons, UTVs & ATVs)Diabetic Supplies* including meters, strips, lancets, lancet devices & syringes
    Used or Mounted Tires, Snow TiresHygienic Medical Equipment (e.g., bedpans, bath seats, sitz baths, eye drop guides, opened/unsealed breast pumps)
    Trading cardsUsed/opened RV sewer lines
    *Diabetic supplies and items covered by Medicare Part B that are deemed substandard or unsuitable per Medicare supplier standards are returnable.

    Other Service Items & Digital ProductsIneligible for Return/Refund/Replacement:
    Prepaid Cell Phone CardsVideo Game Download CardsSim Cards
    Gift CardsPrepaid Gaming CardsVideo On Demand

    Unless specified, electronic games and software downloads are not returnable after purchase. If you did not receive an email containing the code or are unable to redeem the code provided, please go to, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue Contact Us button.
  • Financial/Home/Tech Services Return/Refund/Replacement Policy

    Ineligible Items:Eligible Items with a receipt*:
    Walmart Express Bill PaymentsMoney Transfer
    Reloadable Credit/Debit CardMoney Order
    Check/Card Cashing FeeAffirm
    Branded Gift Cards (Visa, MC, Amex)Home Services (i.e., Handy, Hello Tech, GoConfigure, Tot Squad)
    LotteryTech Services (i.e. True Network Solutions)
    Premium Tech Support & Security w/McAfee Total Protection

    *Note: Money Transfers may be refunded to sending customer if the funds have not been received or deposited into receiver's bank account/mobile wallet. Customer must have the Reference Number or MTCN of the transaction and proper identification.

    Money Orders may be refunded in cash up to 180 days after purchase with original receipt. Money Orders that have been previously cashed or deposited are ineligible for refunds. For refunds for damaged or lost money orders, please visit

    Items purchased with Affirm will be credited back to the customer’s Affirm account. If the refund amount exceeds the loan balance due, Affirm will issue a refund minus interest to the customer’s bank. Refunds may take up to 10 business days to process. If refund is issued in another form of payment such as a gift card, customer is responsible for the loan repayment.

    Home Services Products (i.e., In-Home TV Mounting, Furniture Assembly): are nonrefundable if used or completed. To cancel an unused service, go to your Walmart accountor contact Customer Care at To discuss a problem with a completed service or to request a refund for a used service, go to Home Servicesand select Partner Contacts for service provider information within 90 days of purchase.

    Tech Services Products (i.e., Tech Support, Printer Setup): are nonrefundable if used or completed. To cancel an unused service or discuss a problem with a completed service, go to Tech Servicesand reach out to True Network Solutions support staff within 7 days of purchase and cancel the order in your Walmart account.
  • How to Get Your Refund

    Receipted Returns
    No receipt? We can look up store purchases with a debit/credit card or online orders with a phone number or email. Refunds processed back to a debit/credit card without a receipt may take up to 10 business days.

    Receipted items returned within the required timeframe will be refunded to the original purchase method as follows:
    Method of PaymentWith ReceiptRefund Timing
    Cash or CheckCashImmediate
    Credit CardSame Credit Card* or Gift CardUp to 10 Business Days
    Debit Card w/ PINSame Debit Card,* Gift Card or CashUp to 7 Business Days
    Walmart Gift CardWalmart Gift Card Up to 3 Hours
    EBT CardEBT Card Up to 3 Hours
    *When the original credit/debit card is unavailable, refunds for store purchases will go on a Walmart Gift Card and refunds for online purchases will go back to the issuing bank.

    Non-Receipted Returns
    To return or exchange items without a receipt, the customer must present a valid government-issued photo ID. Information from the customer ID is stored in a secure database that Walmart uses to authorize returns.

    If the refund verification process accepts the return the following options are available:
    • Merchandise exchange
    • Cash refund if value is less than $10
    • Gift Card refund if value is equal to or greater than $10
    Refunds issued for lost items are subject to recharge if Walmart or the seller can verify delivery or frequent abuse.
  • Gifting

    Items on a gift receipt can be exchanged, refunded to a Gift Card or credited to the sender’s original method of payment.

    Items without a gift receipt can be exchanged or refunded to a Gift Card. Items under $10 are refunded in cash.

  • Items Sold by Walmart

    If an item was sold and shipped by Walmart, the Standard Return Policyapplies. To view return by mail instructions, click how to return your item by mail.

    To return items over $300 that are Jewelry, Gems or a Luxury Watch sold by Walmart:
    1. Log in to your Walmart account or contact Customer Care at within 90 days of purchase.
    2. Box up the item. Include all original boxes, papers, grading, certificates of authenticity and appraisals.
    3. Drop the item for FedEx delivery or at a Walmart store.
    4. Use the shipping label provided by Walmart.

    Walmart will work to validate and authenticate the item is returned in the exact same condition as shipped within 48 hours upon receipt of the item.

    Once validated, your refund will be processed back to your original method of payment in up to 10 business days.
  • Items Sold by Marketplace Sellers

    A Marketplace item is an item sold on by a seller other than Walmart.

    Most items are returnable within 30 days. Returning items purchased from a Marketplace Seller is easy. Simply:
    1. Start a return by logging into your Walmart account.
    2. Verify the return window and follow the instructions.
    3. Box and prepare the item for shipping. No box? Simply bring eligible items to a Walmart store for packaging.
    4. Drop it off for FedEx delivery or at a Walmart store, if eligible.
    5. The store will provide a shipping label for eligible items.
    NOTE:Some Marketplace items are not eligible for return to a Walmart store. These are typically odd-sized, freight, hazmat or luxury items. Use the Marketplace Seller’s instructions for return shipping for such items.

    Please reference the Marketplace Seller’s return policy for details regarding refunds, return shipping fees, and possible restocking fees (up to 20%). Insuring items valued above $500 is recommended prior to return shipping.

    Within 48 hours of receiving an eligible returned item, the Marketplace Seller will verify the item and process the refund minus any applicable fees. Applicable amounts will be refunded back to the customer’s original method of payment within 10 business days.

    To return a Luxury* Item sold by a Marketplace Seller on
    1. Within 14 days* of receiving the item, initiate the return online.
    2. Photograph the item and keep the photos for your records.
    3. Package the product carefully. Include all original boxes, papers, warranty cards, grading, certificates of authenticity & appraisals. Apparel/Shoes/Accessories sold as new must be unworn with original tags & labels.
    4. Use a shipping label provided by Walmart or the Marketplace Seller.

    Use the Marketplace Seller’s instructions for return shipping. Some items may be eligible to return at a Walmart store.

    Please reference the seller’s return policy regarding refunds, return shipping fees, and possible restocking fees (up to 20%). Insuring items valued above $500 is recommended prior to return shipping.

    Any Marketplace Seller luxury item returned without the required materials will be rejected for return and no refund will be issued.

    Luxury items that are damaged will be rejected for return and no refund will be issued. Worn, resized, or altered watches & jewelry items may have a restocking fee up to 20% of the purchase price.

    Within 48 hours of receiving a returned luxury item, the Marketplace Seller will validate and authenticate that the item is in the exact same condition as originally shipped to the customer.

    Once validated, refunds are processed back to the customer’s original method of payment in up to 10 business days.

    *Luxury Item Categories: New and preownedApparel, Shoes & Accessories (e.g., Scarfs, Sunglasses, Handbags), Jewelry & Watches above $300, Fine Art, Loose Gems & Gemstones, Collectibles (e.g., Coins, Stamps), Memorabilia, and Precious Metals. Precious metal sellers have a return window less than 14 days.Please refer to the seller’s specific policy for precious metals: APMEXor SD Bullion.

    NOTE:By leaving your package with Walmart for FedEx delivery, you are representing that the package contains no hazardous materials. Hazardous materials items may include batteries, flammable liquids, computer equipment, certain cosmetics, household goods, and other common products. For more information about what may be considered a hazardous material, see the DOT guidelines.
  • WIC/SNAP Eligible Items

    Eligible items can be returned for a cash refund/credit or Gift Card onlyif the customer has a receipt showing the item was not purchased with WIC or SNAP:
    Customerwith WICwith SNAPw/o WIC or SNAP
    with receipt showing purchase madeItem exchanged for same item.*

    Cash refund/credit or gift card is not allowed.
    Item can be refunded to SNAP EBT account or exchanged for the same item.

    Cash refund/credit or gift card is not allowed.
    Item returned for cash refund/credit or gift card.
    without receiptWIC or SNAP eligible items exchanged for same item.

    Cash refund/credit or gift card is not allowed.

    *The customer must have formal documentation from the WIC agency to allow any exceptions.

    A WIC-eligible itemis any item listed on the applicable state WIC approved food list.
    A WIC-purchased itemis any item on the applicable state WIC approved food list purchased with a valid WIC food instrument (e.g., WIC Voucher, EBT Card, WIC CVV, etc.).

    A SNAP-eligible itemis defined by the USDA as any food or food product for home consumption. It excludes specific items from being purchased with SNAP benefits.
    A SNAP-purchased itemis any item purchased with a SNAP benefit.
  • The Fine Print

    Walmart reserves the right to modify the terms of this policy at any time. A receipt with a valid transaction number is required to receive a refund on sales tax for returned items within the time period allowed by law in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

    Walmart reserves the right to limit or decline returns or exchanges regardless of whether the customer has a receipt. All non-receipt returns are subject to a refund verification process. All decisions regarding returns are subject to applicable laws. The Store Manager retains final authority to accept or decline any item that is eligible for return. Under no circumstance may a Store Manager accept return of an ineligible item. Store managers may always, at their discretion, refuse return of an item they deem to present a potential health or safety risk to any individual.

    Walmart also reserves the right to close accounts, or to cancel or refuse orders or returns for violations or abuse of our returns policy, or any fraudulent activities relating to returns.

Seafood Policy

Section I: Sustainable Products at Walmart | Our Pledge to Customers/Members
Our customers and members count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver affordable products in a way that is sustainable for people and for the planet. To meet those needs, we work with partners all along the supply chain to improve the sustainability of products we sell. We do this while working to offer quality products, everyday low prices and putting customers in charge of their food choices by helping provide clear, accurate information about food ingredients and production.

Section II: Sustainable Seafood
Over the past half century, demand for seafood has increased five-fold. An estimated 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are at or beyond sustainable limits. Meanwhile, an estimated 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, while another 200 million rely on the industry as their main source of income.

Section III: Walmart’s Position
Walmart aspires to help make choices easier and more transparent for people. We serve hundreds of millions of customers every year, and we advocate for them among suppliers to provide more sustainably produced products while maintaining the low prices customers expect. As part of our efforts to provide our customers affordable, safe, and healthier food, Walmart is committed to expand and enhance sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities.

At Walmart, we value our relationships with the seafood suppliers who are dedicated to providing the highest in quality and safety through practices that promote sustainable fisheries and social responsibility. We know that seafood is an important source of protein, nutrition, and income for people all over the world. Therefore, we aspire to find our customers safe, affordable, and sustainable seafood that does not negatively affect global communities or the environment. Our goal is to build transparency and continuous improvement in the seafood supply chain so that we can build confidence and provide for our customers now and in the future.

Walmart believes the health of species, fisheries and ecosystems around the world is good for the planet and important to people today and in the future. We are working with our suppliers and partners to track the management of fisheries from which our suppliers source so that we can promote a sustainable supply.

In addition, we care about the men and women in our supply chain and in the seafood industry as a whole, and we are concerned about the ethical recruitment and treatment of workers. While this is a complex issue, we are actively engaged in bringing together numerous stakeholders, NGOs and other private sector companies to help find solutions.

Section IV: What we’re asking of our suppliers
Fresh and Frozen Seafood
By 2025, based on price, availability, quality, customer demand, and unique regulatory environments across our global retail markets, Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, ASDA, Walmart Canada, Walmart Brazil, Walmart Mexico, and Walmart Central America will require all fresh and frozen, farmed and wild seafood suppliers to source from fisheries who are:

  • Third-party certified as sustainable using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), or certified by a program which follows the FAO Guidelines1 and is recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) as such. For our farmed supply, we expect suppliers to ensure sustainable production and sourcing throughout the supply chain, including final processing plant, farms, hatcheries and feed mills.


  • Actively working toward certification or in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) or Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) that has definitive and ambitious goals, measurable metrics, and time bound milestones.

Canned Tuna
By 2025, based on price, availability, quality, customer demand, and unique regulatory environments across our global retail markets, Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, and Walmart Canada will require all canned light and white tuna suppliers to source from fisheries who are:

  • Complying with the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF) sustainability conservation measures, including those adopted in collaboration with relevant tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMO) and from vessels that are registered on the Pro-active Vessel Register (PVR).


  • Third-party certified as sustainable using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), or certified by a program which follows the FAO Guidelines1 and is recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) as such. Walmart will also source from suppliers using better management fishing practices as validated through chain of custody (e.g. pole and line, free-school sets).


  • Actively working toward certification or in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) that has definitive and ambitious goals, measurable metrics, and time bound milestones.

When it comes to the issue of method of catch, Walmart will offer customer choice in select markets, based on local customer preference and market retail norms.

  • Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club offer customer choice by carrying FAD-free lines of canned tuna.
  • Walmart Canada will add Marine Stewardship Council-certified or FAD-free tuna to its private brand assortment by the end of 2021.
  • ASDA sources all of its own-brand canned tuna and tuna sandwiches come from pole and line or FAD-free sources. For more information please see ASDA’s Sustainable Seafood Policy.

Section V: Responsible Sourcing
Walmart’s commitment includes respecting the dignity of those who grow, catch and produce products for our customers. That is why Walmart suppliers globally—including seafood suppliers—are expected to comply with Walmart’s Standards for Suppliers and applicable Responsible Sourcing program requirements. Walmart’s Standards for Suppliers set out our expectations of suppliers and their facilities regarding the ethical treatment of workers, workplace safety, environmental responsibility, and appropriate business practices. The Standards apply throughout the supply chain, including vessels, hatcheries, feed mills, farms, and final processing facilities. Walmart expects its suppliers to be transparent, to disclose facilities consistent with policy and make all facilities available for audit or inspection at any time, and to commit to continuous improvement. Suppliers are also encouraged to involve themselves in Walmart-led or -supported industry initiatives focused on improving responsible sourcing in seafood supply chains. More about Walmart’s Responsible Sourcing program requirements and collaborative initiatives can be found at

1FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. Revision (2009)

FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Inland Capture Fisheries (2011)

FAO Technical guidelines on aquaculture Certification (2011)

Last Updated: February 17, 2017

Social Media Guidelines

We engage with our customers and stakeholders beyond the walls of our stores: you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Medium. This page will give you a better idea on how to engage with us in social media, what you can expect from us, and where to find more information.

Walmart's Twitter Engagement Guidelines
Twitter asks a very basic question of its users: “What’s happening?” And we know the answer to that question – we’re working every day to help people save money so they can live better.

Through our Twitter account we aim to provide you with information on Walmart’s major activities and initiatives - from sustainability to diversity, from healthier foods to charitable giving. We welcome your thoughts on any and all of those topics.

We are happy to help our customers and associates through Twitter and look forward to hearing from you.

Here are a couple of things you should know about our Twitter engagement:

  • We are committed to having a dialogue with our followers. We count on you to use @ messages in a way that contributes to the dialogue. Please support any claims with links to information sources whenever possible. We love opinions; we love them even more when you back them up with facts.
  • We strive to respond to as many relevant questions and comments as possible, but we reserve the right to use our judgment in selecting the messages we respond to.
  • Following a Twitter account or including an account in a Twitter list does not constitute an endorsement; the same applies to re-tweeting messages posted on accounts that Walmart does not own, or marking them as “favorites.”

The posting and presence of content on Twitter and on this site does not necessarily mean that Walmart agrees with the content, ensures its accuracy or otherwise approves of it. Nothing in any Twitter page constitutes a binding representation, agreement or an endorsement on the part of Walmart. Please review Twitter’s terms of use carefully when engaging on the site.

Walmart’s Facebook and Instagram Engagement Guidelines

We’re excited that you’ve joined us on our Facebook or Instagram page, and we know you’ve got plenty to say. At Walmart, our mission is our purpose: we save people money so they can live better.

While you’re with us, we hope you’ll take a moment to read the following guidelines we ask you to follow when contributing to our Facebook or Instagram page:

  • Don’t do anything that breaks the law.
  • Be polite and courteous, even if you disagree. Excessive name calling, profanity, fighting words, discriminatory epithets, sexual harassment, bullying, gruesome language or the like, will not be tolerated.
  • Stay on topic. Keep the conversation relevant to the community and contribute to the dialogue. We reserve the right to remove content that is off-topic, out of context, spam, promotional or links to third party sites.
  • Keep it real. All posts should come from a real person and a real Facebook or Instagram profile. Postings from fake or anonymous profiles will be deleted when discovered.
  • We are happy to help our customers and associates through Facebook or Instagram, and look forward to hearing from you.
  • We reserve the right to remove content posted to Facebook or Instagram that violates these guidelines.

If you are a Walmart associate, please follow these additional guidelines:

  • Know the rules. Before engaging on Facebook or Instagram, or on any other social media property, make sure you read and understand Walmart’s Social Media Policy and Walmart Information Policy. In any and all interactions, make sure that you don’t share confidential or private information about the Company’s business operations, products, services, or customers; respect financial disclosure laws; and do not say you speak for the Company without express written authorization from the Company to do so.
  • Remember that we have a dedicated team tasked with responding to customer inquiries or criticism. Our official Walmart social team is responsible for engaging customers through our page. To avoid confusion, we ask that you not attempt to respond to customer inquiries or comments directed specifically to the Company or asking for an official Company response on this site.
  • Consider using company established channels for job-specific issues. While we encourage associates to join our Facebook and Instagram communities and participate in conversations with our customers and other users, we encourage you to direct your complaints or concerns about your job or working environment to your store management team using the established Open Door Process or

For Walmart managers: If you are a manager, please make sure you are familiar with our Social Media Management Guidelines, available on the Walmart Wire. 

Standards for Suppliers

All suppliers and their facilities – including subcontracting and packaging facilities – are expected to uphold Walmart’s Standards for Suppliers. Learn more about our standards and expectations for suppliers and our requirements for facility disclosure here.

Sustainable Chemistry Commitment

Walmart customers expect products that are safe, affordable and sustainable. Sustainable Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances, both to humans and the environment. To minimize the negative environmental and social impact, Walmart has developed a policy on sustainable chemistry for its consumables/Health & Wellness business that focuses on transparency, advancing formulation, and begin labeling private brand products in accordance with the U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Safer Product Labeling.

Beginning in January 2015, Walmart expects all suppliers will provide full online public ingredient disclosure for formulated consumable items sold at Walmart and Sam’s Club. For private brands, Walmart partnered with the WERCs – a vendor supporting Walmart’s chemical safety and regulatory compliance – to house all proprietary product formulations. Supplier formulations remain confidential from Walmart. Through the WERCS, Walmart private brand suppliers reviewed and approved their in-scope products ingredients in compliance with either U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment Standard for Safer Products or CSPA's Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative. Ingredient information for Walmart private brand products within the scope of the policy will be made available on and items pages.

The following categories of ingredients are commonly protected as trade secrets. When ingredients in these categories are trade secrets, they should be disclosed as follows: Dyes and colorants: should be listed by a chemical-descriptive name. In some cases, Walmart’s private brand products may list colorants that vary by product. Fragrances: Scent ingredients may be listed as "Fragrance," on the label, but the formulator must indicate where detailed information can be found. View Walmart’s Fragrance palette for private brands.

The Walmart Sustainability Index will measure supplier compliance with the policy. If a formulated consumable product is missing its online ingredient disclosure, please email [email protected]

For more information on the Sustainable Chemistry Commitment, please visit the Walmart Sustainability Hub.

Sustainable Row Crop Position Statement

Sustainable Products at Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S.
Our customers and members count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver affordable products that are also sustainable for people and for the planet. Through actions that build transparency and trust, we work with suppliers, NGOs, and governments, all along the supply chain to improve the sustainability of the products we sell. We do this while offering quality products at affordable prices with a time-saving shopping experience.

Worldwide, social and environmental losses are escalating. From resource-heavy farming that deplete soil and water resources to the destruction of biologically diverse rainforests, every day the balance of our world’s vulnerable ecosystems becomes more unstable. Our natural systems are telling society we are not doing enough – we’re actually doing irreversible damage to our planet and the natural systems we rely on.

Our Commitment to Regeneration
Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. are committed1 to becoming a regenerative company – one dedicated to placing nature and humanity at the center of our business practices. Our vision is to help transform product and food supply chains to be regenerative. That is why in September 2020, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and the Walmart Foundation made a commitment to protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030 related to ecosystems that produce food and other consumer products.

Regenerating means restoring, renewing, and replenishing in addition to conserving. It means adopting practices in row crop agriculture that build soil health and protect nature, helping promote improved economic and environmental outcomes while contributing to the prosperity and equity of customers, associates and the people who participate in our product supply chains.

Sustainable Row Crops
Successfully transitioning to a system that is less resource-intensive and built on a foundation of healthy soil and long-term productivity will require the active support of all participants in the agricultural system, including farmers, food processors, distributers, retailers, consumers, government, and those who work with farmers.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. believe this transition depends on the adoption of best practices for soil, nutrient, pest, water, and land management. Greatly accelerating the adoption of these practices across our supply chains will build a dependable supply chain that can strengthen our ability to continue helping people save money and live better.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. Priorities
We understand that our aspiration to become a regenerative company means leveraging our position as trusted retailers and brands to accelerate the adoption of best practices in row crop agriculture. We believe we can deliver the greatest impact by:

  • Working within the supply chain to help producers adopt best practices,
  • Supporting and enabling transparency,
  • Building structures to enable Walmart and Sam’s Club and the supply chain to track and report progress,
  • Investing in place-based approaches for critical landscapes.2

Through our membership in the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, we will continue to work with leaders across the agricultural supply chain and NGO community to develop and scale up new approaches to farming that build soil health and long-term productivity, protect water, address climate change, and support farm families.

A wide variety of farming practices can drive improved environmental and economic outcomes in row crop production. Often, these practices are geographically dependent. Accordingly, we will encourage adoption of the following farming practices in our supply chain where appropriate as well as encourage suppliers to support the practices that could prove most impactful locally.

Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. Position on Row Crops
Best Management Practices for consideration to adopt:

  • Soil and Nutrient Management
    • Cover crops – Plants that are planted to cover the soil between crop cycles primarily to manage soil erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, control pests and diseases and increase biodiversity. Cover crops may have additional benefits such as increasing soil organic matter, improving crop yields, increasing soil organic carbon, and attracting pollinators.3
    • Conservation tillage – Practices that reduce or eliminate tillage of a field, resulting in reduced erosion and improved soil structure, and leaving at least 30 percent of the soil surface covered by residue to reduce soil loss.4,5
    • Crop rotation - Planting different crops sequentially on the same plot of land to improve soil health, optimize nutrients in the soil, and combat pest and weed pressure.6,7
    • 4R nutrient management – Is a strategy for the application of commercial fertilizers, manure, amendments, and organic by-products to agricultural landscapes to provide plant nutrients. A common framework for optimizing nutrient management is known as the “Four Rs”:
      • Right amount - the proper rate of application;
      • Right source - applying the proper type;
      • Right placement - using the appropriate method for application;
      • Right timing - applying at the correct time in the lifecycle of the system.8
  • Pest Management
    • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – A sustainable, science-based, decision-making process that combines biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools to identify, manage and reduce risk from pests and pest management tools and strategies in a way that minimizes overall economic, health and environmental risks.9 IPM relies on pest monitoring and forecasting, use of economic/damage thresholds, integrating chemical and non-chemical strategies and choosing the most effective, least-risk options.
    • Beneficial insect habitat – Developing a diversity of flowering native or naturalized plants, which provide food for beneficial insects (predators and parasitoids), and undisturbed egg-laying and nesting sites for reproduction and overwintering to encourage beneficial insect populations which reduce pest pressure.10,11 The same habitat features also provide food and nesting resources for pollinators.
  • Water Management
    • Implement water management plan –Optimizing farming techniques, decisions, and management to limit impacts that the water use and discharge will have on the watershed, community health, and regional ecology by assessing operation needs, identifying needs of other water users in the basin (including nature as a user, e.g., minimum required flows), comparing to total available renewable water,12 and designing interventions and adjusting water uses to bring water use into the boundaries of the basin.
  • Land Management
    • Hedgerow plantings –Dense woody vegetation planted in a linear design to protect water quality and provide shelter for wildlife.13
    • Riparian corridor –Management practices that create and maintain areas that extend down into the groundwater, up above the canopy, outward across the floodplain, up the near-slopes that drain into the water, laterally into the terrestrial ecosystem and along the watercourse at a variable width.14
    • Grassed waterways –Grassed waterways are constructed graded channels that are seeded to grass or other suitable vegetation. The vegetation slows surface waterflows and the grassed waterway conveys the water to a stable outlet at a non-erosive velocity.15
    • Constructed wetlands –Artificial wetlands created to treat agricultural wastewater using natural functions of vegetation, soil, and microbial populations.16
  • Priority Area Protection
    • Abstain using recently converted land –Row crops should not be planted on land that was recently cleared of native vegetation (e.g. grasslands or forests) even if sustainable farming practices are followed after a cutoff date. Sector-wide cutoff dates may differ across commodities and regions. In lieu of a sector-wide conversion cutoff date, a cutoff date no later than the date that Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. issue this guidance should be used as the cutoff date, after which land should not be converted for row crop production.17 Sustainable practices that occur on recently or newly converted grasslands, peatlands, wetlands, or forests do not qualify towards Walmart U.S. or Sam’s Club U.S.’s nature aspirations.
    • Agriculture conservation easement –Protect, restore and enhance wetlands, grasslands, forests, or working farms and ranches through voluntary, legal agreements to permanently limit land usage to protect its conservation values.18

Supporting Landscape Place-Based Approaches
Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. encourages suppliers, aggregators, and commodity companies to engage in place-based approaches (both at the jurisdictional and landscape-level) to leverage positive change beyond individual supply chains and help accelerate sustainable and regenerative commodity production systems at scale.

A placed-based approach to natural resource and community issues refers to land and natural resource planning efforts that bring together diverse individuals, values, uses, experiences and activities tied to a specific geographic location. The essential idea behind place-based programming is that caring about places is important and different than just caring about resources. When successful, a placed-based approach will protect multiple resources within an area, create holistic strategies for improvement, focus on diverse stakeholder engagement, and promote a broad range of positive outcomes by addressing underlying conflicts.19

These actions vary by jurisdiction and region, but could include:

  • Becoming involved in a jurisdictional initiative by participating in steering committees or engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogue.
  • Committing to source from jurisdictions and landscapes that are pursuing, or have implemented, regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Providing funds and/or technical support to producers, extension centers, projects, and local initiatives working to promote regenerative agriculture.

For more information, please visit the Walmart Sustainability Hub.

What We’re Asking of Our Suppliers
Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. understand that cooperation among suppliers is essential to the success of any responsible sourcing initiative. We encourage product suppliers to actively support our sustainable row crop efforts by:

  • Implementing sustainable management practices, as applicable, across the management areas of soil & nutrient, pest, water, and land as outlined above.
  • Sourcing commodities that meet certification standards that Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. accepts as credible and impactful, or where certifications are unavailable, produced using regenerative practices with positive outcomes for nature, people, and the economy.
  • Joining Project Gigaton, setting goals to restore agriculture in the Nature Pillar of the portal and reporting progress annually.

1Regeneration Speech
2Walmart Sustainability Hub
7Rodale Institute
8UC Davis
11Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
12Non-Renewable Water Defined
19Placed-Based Planning

Walmart Code of Conduct

Global Ethics is responsible for promoting Walmart’s culture of integrity. This includes developing and upholding our policies for ethical behavior for all of our stakeholders everywhere we operate.

But perhaps most importantly, it includes raising awareness of ethics policies and providing channels for stakeholders to bring ethics concerns to our attention. 

Global Ethics:

  • Serves as a guide and resource for ethical decision making
  • Provides a confidential and anonymous reporting system
  • Leads a continuing ethics education and communication system

Learn more at the Walmart Code of Conduct

Walmart U.S. Pollinator Health Position

In 2020, Walmart committed to becoming a regenerative company. As part of this commitment, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation aim to help protect, manage, or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), pollination is important for maintaining the populations of many plants and is critical in agricultural systems. About 75 percent of the world’s major crops are dependent on pollinators1, and they contribute to the subsistence agricultural production that feeds many millions of people2. Therefore, a substantial decline in pollinator (e.g., bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, bats, moths, wasps) populations may threaten food production for both local consumption and global food markets. Research by IPBES confirms that wild pollinators have declined in abundance and diversity in regions including North America because of factors such as land-use change, intensive agricultural management and pesticide use, environmental pollution, invasive alien species, pathogens and climate change.

Also, according to IPBES, pollinator exposure to pesticides can be reduced by minimizing the use of pesticides, incorporating alternative forms of pest control, and adopting a range of specific application practices. Actions to reduce pesticide use include promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM); a sustainable, science-based, decision-making process that combines biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools to identify, manage and reduce risk from pests and pest management tools and strategies in a way that minimizes overall economic, health and environmental risks, as defined by the IPM Institute of North America.

As part of our commitment to protect and restore natural resources involved in production of the products we sell, Walmart U.S. is taking these initial steps to promote pollinator health:

1. Walmart U.S. will source 100% of the fresh produce and floral we sell in our in-store Produce department from suppliers that adopt integrated pest management practices, as verified by a third-party, by 2025. We also encourage fresh produce suppliers to report their pesticide application and biodiversity management annually, through Walmart’s annual sustainability surveys.

Third-party certifications that verify IPM adoption or that are protective of pollinator health and include robust IPM criteria include:

Additional third-party certifications may be added to the above list as they are able to demonstrate improvements to their IPM criteria.

As part of this initiative, we will also encourage fresh produce suppliers to phase out use of chlorpyrifos and nitroguanidine neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, dinotefuran) where applicable unless mandated otherwise by law, and to avoid replacing them with other products with a level I bee precaution rating.

2. To help improve and expand pollinator habitats, Walmart U.S. will:

a. Encourage fresh produce suppliers to protect, restore, or establish pollinator habitats by 2025 on at least 3% of land they own, operate, and/or invest in (e.g., community gardens, pollinator-friendly solar3, sustainable landscapes4). Suppliers are encouraged to report annual progress through Walmart’s annual sustainability surveys.

b. Encourage live-plant suppliers to label pollinator-friendly plants (plants grown without neonicotinoids, flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor) for sale in our retail stores.

c. Continue to avoid sellinginvasive plant species based on recognized regional lists.

d. Help educatecustomers about pollinator plants for home gardens. In the spring of 2021, more than 1.3 million annual and perennial neonic-free plants for sale in our stores will carry tags to help customers identify plants that attract pollinators. We will explore other initiatives, online and in store, to engage and educate customers.

e. Explore opportunities to incorporate pollinator habitat on Walmart U.S. real estate or in local communities, including:

  • Our new Home Office: The “Big Nature” landscape of the new Walmart Home Office campus includes features to support local populations of plant pollinators: for example, we anticipate that over 75% of the plant species will be pollinator-friendly plants (providing the food and habitat pollinators that wildlife like bees, butterflies and birds rely on); and we intend to include pollinator-friendly meadows near waterways (providing undisturbed pollinator foraging habitat as well as water access and the potential for more intentional nesting habitat spaces for insects, small animals and birds).
  • Our stores and other facilities: On an opportunistic basis, we intend to establish pollinator habitats at locations where feasible. For example, 21 Walmart stores have onsite pollinator gardens; and our renewable energy team is working with solar developers to plant pollinator habitats where feasible, such as the solar project at our Distribution Center in Laurens, SC.

1 Klein et al, Importance of Pollinators in Changing Landscapes for World Crops, 2006,
2 IPBES, The Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 2017
3 Land under and around solar arrays can be planted with pollinator-friendly vegetation. UVM Extension
4 A place where people steward natural capital alongside sustainable production systems at a scale that encompasses multiple levels of governance, a wide range of uses, and essential natural capital, to enhance long-term human well-being in a changing world. Conservation International, Sustainable Landscape Approach Implementation guidebook, 2018 p. 4

TOMRA Bottles for the Bush Recycling Appeal

All Michigan stores selling bottles, cans with 10-cent deposits must now take returns

If a retailer sells beverage containers with a 10-cent deposit, it must now also accept those bottles and cans for deposit redemption, starting immediately, the State Treasury Department announced Thursday.

It's the latest relaxing of restrictions put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order March 23 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily halted bottle and can redemptions statewide. Of the 10 U.S. states with bottle and can deposits, Michigan was the only state to completely shut down its redemption program. It left more than $50 million in bottles and cans accumulating in people's garages and closets for almost three months.

Loren Boyle of Waterford brings a large trash bag full of bottles and cans to the Kroger supermarket in White Lake early Monday, June 15, 2020.

In mid-June, the state began allowing the state's largest supermarket chains with reverse vending machines to begin accepting bottles and cans for deposit redemption again. On Oct. 5, that was expanded to all stores with the reverse vending machines.

Now, any store that sells the beverage containers, reverse vending machines or not, must redeem their deposits. At many gas stations, convenience stores and groceries, that will mean people physically handling the often wet, dirty bags full of bottles and cans, said Bryan Neiman, president and CEO of Neiman's Family Market, with three supermarkets in Clarkston, Tawas and St. Clair.

George Hall and his son, Cameron Hall, of West Bloomfield take shopping carts full of bottles and cans into the Meijer store on Haggerty Road in Commerce Township early on June 15, 2020.

Neiman's stores have the reverse vending machines, and they've been taking returnable containers back since the last state order Oct. 5, with limited return hours and limited numbers of people allowed in the bottle room at one time, he said.

"It's scary for the staff, but we do what we can," Neiman said. "Fortunately for us, we don't have to touch somebody else's bottles and cans — we just have to clean the machine they put them in. I feel bad for the folks who do not have reverse vending machines and have to take the cans back.

"When people walk in with a great big garbage bag full, and you have to reach your hands into stale beer, pop, spit, it's just awful. There's nothing worse."

The new rules come as the state of Michigan has seen an 80% surge in coronavirus-related hospitalizations in recent weeks. 

Flattened plastic bottles in one area of Schupan Recycling in Wixom, Michigan on Friday May 15, 2020 have been sitting for the past two months with nowhere to go.Most of the recycle center has not been active because of the Coronavirus and people not being able to recycle bottles at grocery stores which end up coming here for processing.

But customers celebrated Thursday's news opening up returns.

"I'm very glad to hear that," said Detroit resident Mary Weekly, whose local store, Liquor Depot on 8 Mile Road, wasn't accepting deposit returns.

"I need my deposits back," she said. "They've been adding up and I only have so much room to store them. I don't want roaches or anything."

Stores may limit the number of bottles and cans a person can redeem in a day, limit return hours, periodically close return facilities for cleaning and supply management, and take other precautions to promote health and safety, Treasury officials said.

"I think we're through the big glut of (unredeemed bottles and cans)," Neiman said. 

Contact Keith Matheny: 313-222-5021 or [email protected]

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Bottle hours return feed country


TOMRA Reverse Vending Machine May 2013


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