Old Navy Is Eliminating Plastic Shopping Bags From Stores by 2023 — Here's Why It Matters

Old Navy announced last month that it will be taking some major steps toward a greener future. The brand's sustainability push includes a promise to eliminate the use of plastic shopping bags in all US and Canada stores by 2023. Soon, you'll be able to shop your favorite affordable styles and do your part to contribute to a healthier planet at the same time.

The switch from plastic to paper shopping bags is just one of Old Navy's new plastic reduction measures. Starting this summer, any online orders will be packaged in 50-percent-recycled mailers, up from the current 35-percent-recycled packaging. The Gap Inc. brand will also be expanding its plastic hanger recycling program to all US and Canada stores by the end of 2021. (The program is already in place in over half of the stores around the country.)

But that's not all. In addition to its own pro-planet goals, Old Navy wants to support the next generation of green leaders — starting with 11-year-old Ryan Hickman.

Old Navy selected Hickman to be the brand's "head of FUNcycling" and will be investing in his recycling awareness nonprofit, Project 3R. Also known as Recycle Ryan, the young activist took to Old Navy's Instagram to share recycling tips that are "so easy an adult can do them," like rinsing out plastic food containers and stomping on soda cans to make more room in recycling bins.

Old Navy

The inspiring youngster is also helping the brand choose up to 51 kid-led environmental fundraisers to donate to through the end of the year in honor of the 51st Annual Earth Day. Some of the amazing eco-minded kids highlighted on Old Navy's GoFundMe page include an Indiana 12-year-old collecting plastic bottle caps to turn into park benches and a father-daughter duo with an ambitious goal of planting 10,000 trees in 10 years.

These admirable efforts are part of The Imagine Mission, Old Navy's purpose platform rooted in creating a better future — it's all about promoting a kinder, brighter world for future generations.