Target Launches Program to Help Shoppers Identify Sustainable Packaging

A Target store in California
A Target store in Albany, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Retail giant Target is launching an initiative to reduce its use of single-use plastics

The company announced its Target Zero icon on Wednesday, which is designed to inform customers if a product or its packaging is reusable, refillable, compostable, or made from material that is recyclable or otherwise cuts back on plastic.

“By making it easier for our guests to identify which products are designed to reduce waste, Target Zero helps them make informed decisions about what they purchase and advances a collective impact across our brand partners, our product shelves, and within our homes and communities,” senior vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Target Foundation Amanda Nusz said in a press release. 

So far, Target Zero items include products from Burt’s Bees, PLUS and Pacifica. They are available both in-store and on By April, Target Zero items from Grove Co. and Target’s own Everspring brand will also be available. 

The initiative is part of Target’s broader Target Forward sustainability campaign, which includes the goal of making sure all of its own-brand plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, the Star Tribune reported.

“It’s incredibly complex to get to zero waste,” Target senior buyer and sustainability lead for beauty Erica Shea said on the company website. “Our goal with Target Zero is to not only make it easier for guests to find reduced-waste products that fit into their lifestyles, but also to co-create alongside our national brand partners and owned brands suppliers so we can unlock solutions to some of the historical hurdles for sustainability in the beauty, personal care and household essentials spaces and beyond.”  

The move comes amid growing concern about the impacts of single-use plastic, especially on ocean ecosystems. There is also growing pressure from consumers for brands to offer less wasteful products. Last month, Kroger and Loop announced that they were trialing a reusable packaging system at Fred Meyer locations in Portland, Oregon. Kroger said at the time that it was responding to consumer interest in embracing the pilot program, and Target made a similar claim. 

“We can’t wait to introduce our guests to Target Zero because we recognize their growing calls to find products that fit within their lifestyle, designed with sustainability in mind,” Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Jill Sando said in the press release. “Our aim with Target Zero is to keep delivering on their needs through our ever-evolving product assortment, as well as to give brands investing in reduced waste products and packaging an opportunity to have those products highlighted by Target.”

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