Target has sustainability in its sites

by Monica Watrous
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 Target
Target plans to add GreenBlue's How2Recycle label to its store brand packaging by 2020.
 

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. said it will overhaul some of its packaging as part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Jennifer
Jennifer Silberman, chief sustainability officer of Target

“We know our guests pay attention to packaging and its impact on the environment,” said Jennifer Silberman, Target’s chief sustainability officer. “When we provide them with thoughtfully designed, environmentally friendly packaging, we’re able to help them take another step toward sustainable living.”

In 2013, Target pledged to redesign at least 50 store brand packages to be more sustainable by 2016. The company exceeded that goal, creating 160 enhanced, recyclable package designs that use fewer materials and more recycled content. Building on that effort, Target has announced five new sustainable packaging goals.

First, Target plans to source all owned brand paper-based packaging from sustainably managed forests by 2022. Earlier this month, the company introduced a new sourcing policy for forest products, requiring wood, paper and paper-based packaging to be sourced responsibly to avoid contributing to deforestation or forest degradation.

 Target
 

Second, the retailer said it will work to eliminate expanded polystyrene from its owned brand packaging by 2022. This foam packaging is difficult to recycle and is a significant cause of ocean plastic contamination, Target said.

Third, the company said it will add GreenBlue’s How2Recycle label to its store brand packaging by 2020. The label, which informs consumers how to recycle a particular piece of packaging, already is featured on more than 1,700 of Target’s product packages.

“We’ll keep up the momentum by continuing to look for ways to place the label on more of our owned brand packaging whenever space allows,” Target said.

Additionally, the company said it will support The Recycling Partnership’s mission to make recycling more accessible to consumers by bringing curbside recycling to underserved communities.

Finally, Target will work to create more demand for recycled packaging by creating three new end markets for recycled materials by 2020. To support this effort, Target is partnering with two organizations: The Material Recovery Facility of the Future, and Beyond 34. The latter project focuses on providing best practices to raise the US recycling rate beyond the current rate of 34 percent.

“As a leader in design, we can use our expertise to create more sustainable packaging options for our guests and help deliver products that are both better-for-you and better for the environment,” Silberman said. “With the power of Target’s team and our scale as one of the country’s largest retailers, we hope to be a catalyst for change across the industry—aiming for the day when all packaging will be recyclable, and leading the way to a packaging-waste-free world.”

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