Target unpacks new sustainable packaging goals

Target unpacks new sustainable packaging goals

Focusing on sustainability, Target has announced five new sustainable packaging goals that complement its existing product goals and look at the packages those products come in.

“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.”

Target’s work around sustainable packaging began in 2013 with its first packaging goal to enhance at least 50 of its owned brand packages to be more sustainable by 2016, reports Greener Package. According to Target, it exceeded that goal, serving up 160 enhanced packaging designs that use fewer materials and more recycled content, and are recyclable themselves.

The new sustainable packaging goals reflect guest expectations, Target business priorities, current industry challenges and areas where Target can drive the most change.
The packaging goals are as follows:

1. Work to eliminate expanded polystyrene from Target-owned brand packaging by 2022. Target believes polystyrene is not only a pain to recycle for guests and distribution centers, but it is also a major cause of ocean plastic contamination.  

2. Source all owned brand paper-based packaging from sustainably managed forests by 2022. Target will work with vendors and other partners to understand the origin of the raw materials that go into paper-based packaging to improve the sustainability of forests where timber was grown.

3. Add the How2Recycle label to all owned brand packaging by 2020. As a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Target already has the How2Recycle label on more than 1,700 product packages and mailers—more than any other retailer, it says. This goal will continue Target’s momentum, and the retailer says it will look for ways to incorporate the label on more owned-brand packaging.

4. Support The Recycling Partnership’s mission to improve how more than 25% of the U.S. population recycles by 2020. As the first retailer to join The Recycling Partnership, Target says its investment will bring curbside recycling to more underserved communities. Studies show that only 53 percent of the U.S. population has recycling as a standard service, and even fewer have cart-based programs. 

5. Create more demand for recycled packaging by creating three new end markets for recycled materials by 2020. As the recycling industry struggles with contamination and competition from the low prices of virgin plastics, Target says it will champion the cause by advancing the idea that all packaging will be recyclable one day and will join two industry efforts — The Material Recovery Facility of the Future and Beyond 34 — to help. 


Topics: Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Retail, Sustainable Communities

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