UPDATE: Walmart ended the car seat trade-in program on Sept. 21, nine days earlier than scheduled, due to what the retailer described as an "overwhelming response," in a statement to USA Today.
Walmart is giving car seat recycling a boost this month with its first-ever Walmart Car Seat Recycling Event in honor of Best of Baby Month.
Need to update your growing child's old car seat for a new size or looking to replace an expired one? America's largest retailer is currently accepting car seats in exchange for a $30 Walmart gift card that can be used in store or online to buy baby gear.
Starting Monday through Sept. 30, customers can take their used or expired car seats to the nearest participating Walmart Supercenter and receive a $30 Walmart gift card to buy items for their baby. The company said car seats did not have to be purchased at a Walmart store to qualify for trade-in and any brand is accepted. However, booster seats are not eligible for the trade-in program. There is also a two trade-ins per household limit.
Walmart said it has partnered with TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based recycling company that specializes in recycling hard-to-recycle materials, to help divert materials from landfills.
Terracycle CEO Tom Szaky said the company expects to divert the plastic equivalent of approximately 35 million water bottles from landfills through the program.
"Safety – especially car seat safety – is a top priority for Walmart’s Baby department, so we wanted to use our size and scale to create an event that offered unprecedented access to trade in an outgrown car seat for a gift card – perfect for using on your baby’s next car seat," said Melody Richards, Vice President, Walmart Baby. "Sustainability is of equal importance to Walmart, so we’re happy to work with TerraCycle who will recycle every component of the car seats."
Walmart isn't the only company offering incentives to recycle old and used car seats. Target launched a similar program in 2016 and has recycled over 11.9 million pounds of material through its annual event, according to its website.