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said Friday it will launch an initiative to reduce its overall packaging by 5% over five years.

The retailer predicts the initiative, scheduled to begin in 2008, will reduce overall packaging by 5% and that reduction in 10% of the global packaging industry will result in $10.98 billion in savings. "Wal-Mart alone is poised to save $3.4 billion," the company said.

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Under the five-year plan, the Wal-Mart will measure its 60,000 worldwide suppliers on their ability to develop packaging and conserve natural resources.

The company cited an earlier initiative to improve packaging on its private-label Kid Connection toy line last year. By reducing the packaging on fewer than 300 toys, Wal-Mart saved in one year $3.5 million in transportation costs, as well as 3,425 tons of corrugated materials, 1,358 barrels of oil, 5,190 trees and 727 shipping containers.

Wal-Mart announced the packaging reduction plan at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City Friday, a day after the retailer announced a plan to

reduce the price of certain generic-drug prescriptions.

Shares were down 23 cents, or 0.5%, to $48.23 in recent trading Friday.