business news in context, analysis with attitude

• In Santa Rosa, California, the Press Democrat reports that “Wal-Mart has begun eliminating disposable shopping bags at its Ukiah store and two others in California, a move that environmentalists hope will spread nationwide and lead to the demise of the bags that are clogging landfills and littering highways and oceans ... The pilot programs will continue through 2010 and determine whether Wal-Mart expands the program to all of its U.S. stores.”

“We’re committed to reducing the plastic bag waste by one-third by the end of 2013. This test could help,” said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amelia Neufeld.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart plans to “expand Tracfone Wireless Inc.'s ultracheap Straight Talk cellphone service nationally, in another illustration of the pricing decline at the low end of the wireless industry.” The service “offers a monthly plan for as low as $30 and an unlimited-access plan—including text messages and mobile Web access—for $45 a month ... The retailer's cellphone pilot program that began last summer in 234 stores was successful, said Wal-Mart, and the company has worked quickly to make the plans available before the holiday.”
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