Target commits to plastic reduction

Published on June 23rd, 2021

Efforts to reduce the reliance on plastic got a boost when Target Corp., the eighth-largest retailer in the United States, committed to decrease annual total virgin plastic in its owned brand packaging by 20% by 2025, following up on a previous agreement to set a plastic elimination goal.

In May 2021, after the filing of a shareholder proposal by As You Sow and Green Century Capital Management, Target agreed to set a virgin plastic elimination goal for its private brand packaging to be announced at a later time.

As You Sow has also reached agreements with PepsiCo and Walmart on cuts in virgin plastic use, with the specific size of cuts still to be announced.

“We are pleased that the company set a significant goal to reduce plastic by one-fifth,” notes Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow. “We hope PepsiCo and Walmart will at least match these cuts when they announce the size of their commitments later this year.

“We would like to see Target build toward absolute cuts in plastic use across all its private brands in the future. Many more companies need to step up and make significant cuts in use of plastic for single-use packaging if we are to make meaningful progress in reducing the flow of plastic wastes into oceans.”

Previously, after engagement with As You Sow on reducing single use plastic packaging, beverage company Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. agreed to cut use of virgin plastic for packaging by 20% by 2025.

More information on five agreements reached with companies in recent months on cutting plastic use is available here.

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