Why Doesn’t Walmart Have Baskets?

Woman Using A Shopping Basket At A Supermarket

Walmart, best known for its everyday low prices, has undergone a major change in some of its stores. This change has affected the way people shop.

We are referring to the strict plastic bag ban being implemented in New Jersey.

Since May 4, 2022, single-use plastic bags have been banned at the store registers of all major supermarkets, including Walmart.

Due to this ban, customers must carry their own bags. They may also shop using plastic baskets and then return them to the store after dropping off their purchased items in their cars.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

But then, why doesn’t Walmart have baskets for customers to use in its stores anymore?


Not everyone likes to use big and bulky carts for shopping when they want to buy just a few items.

A handheld plastic shopping basket offers much more convenience and ease.

It helps customers move easily around crowded aisles and get their shopping done within a few minutes in a more relaxing way, rather than pushing huge carts.

But after the plastic bag ban, people have noticed that shopping baskets are no longer available inside Walmart stores.

The reason for this is quite unusual — customers take the baskets along with them in their car after shopping.

In other words, customers are pilfering plastic baskets from Walmart stores, leading to a severe shortage of plastic baskets.

Not having baskets in the store has surprised hundreds of regular shoppers who were used to the convenience of using a shopping basket in Walmart. Their absence has led to many customers asking themselves: Why doesn’t Walmart have baskets?

In this guide, we look at the reasons for their absence and how you can better prepare when you shop at Walmart the next time.

Walmart Baskets

Shopping Cart Corral At The Walmart Parking Lot

Every shopper’s favorite companion is a shopping basket. This basket is perfect for situations wherein one wants to shop for just a few items from the store.

It is much more user-friendly than the shopping cart that one needs to push through crowded aisles.

Shopping baskets offer ease and convenience. Hence, they are a must in major supermarkets and grocery stores.

Your whole shopping experience can be a hassle if you don’t find a shopping basket in the store and have to rely on a shopping cart.

The Plastic Ban and Its Effects

Two Reusable Shopping Bags Full Of Goods

As a part of its environmentally friendly measures, New Jersey banned all single-use plastic bags from supermarket chains.

While the bill to ban plastic bags was signed in November 2020, retailers and customers were given 18 months to prepare to ensure they had enough time to comply with the law.

Due to the ban, people have to remember that they must carry a bag from their homes.

But that is easier said than done, as people often forget to carry their own bags.

As per a Walmart employee, “Since we stopped giving out plastic bags, people have been walking out with the baskets (with their shopping inside).”

More often than not, the customers simply kept the plastic basket itself in the car for their convenience when removing the items from the car once they reached home.

The Missing Baskets

Blue Shopping Baskets

Gradually, as more and more people started taking the plastic baskets home, they disappeared from the Walmart stores.

What started as a convenience factor soon led to a situation wherein the stores could no longer afford to replace the missing baskets due to the cost factor.

Each plastic shopping basket can cost upwards of $8, which is quite a substantial expense, especially if a store needs to replace anything from 100 to 200 baskets weekly.

As a result, the Walmart stores changed their in-store policy and decided not to have any handheld plastic shopping baskets anymore.

This problem can be better understood through a quote by Mary Ellen Peppard, who is the Vice President of the New Jersey Food Council, a group that represents the state’s grocers and supermarkets such as Walmart.

She says, “While most customers have adapted, unfortunately, our members have seen an uptick in customers taking the store baskets and not returning them.”

She further added that since the baskets were quite expensive, the stores decided not to replace them.

This phenomenon has been noticed, not just at Walmart stores, but also at all the supermarkets across the city.

Due to the increasing pilferage of plastic baskets, all the stores have decided not to stock and offer them to their customers.

Customer Inconvenience

Man Using A Shopping Cart

As per a regular shopper at Walmart, this can be pretty annoying, especially when they need to shop for just a few items from the store.

Since people tend to forget to carry their own bags quite often, they need to resort to other avenues, such as using a shopping cart.

But using a cart is quite cumbersome and inconvenient. To use a cart, one needs to pay for it or request a staff member to help you out, who may not always be around.

Our best advice when you have not bought a bag and do not wish to use a cart is to buy reusable bags at the checkout counters and enjoy a totally hassle-free shopping experience.


Shopping basket thefts are the primary reason for the unavailability of baskets in Walmart stores.

What was a major convenience factor during shopping for customers had to be stopped due to the actions of a few people.

While some people may carry the plastic baskets home inadvertently, there could be some who do it on purpose.

Whatever the reason, the practice of taking the plastic baskets home has led to stores not stocking them altogether and requesting customers to carry their own bags or make alternative arrangements.

Due to this, customers need to bring their own bags or start using carts to enjoy their shopping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Good Alternative to Plastic Baskets?

Carrying and using your reusable bags is a good alternative to the problem of having no plastic baskets in Walmart stores.

In case you plan on shopping for more than a few items, then using a shopping cart is also a good option, as you can take it directly to your car and drop the items you purchased safely.

Which Are the Walmart Stores That Do Not Provide Plastic Baskets?

Walmart currently does not provide shopping baskets in its stores located in New Jersey and Canada.

More stores may be added to the list if the single-use plastic ban would be implemented in their cities.

Why Do People Prefer Using Plastic Baskets?

People visiting Walmart prefer using the shopping baskets for the following reasons:

  • They can be easily carried over to their car.
  • They are easy to empty at the store registers.
  • They provide faster access to the items during the checkout process.
  • There is no need to carry their own bags.

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