Plastic bags start out as fossil fuels and end up as deadly waste in landfills and the ocean. Birds often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, filling their stomachs with toxic debris. For hungry sea turtles, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between jellyfish and floating plastic shopping bags. Fish eat thousands of tons of plastic a year, transferring it up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals.
Every day thousands of marine animals become fatally entangled or are killed by ingesting single-use plastic bags that are given away by the millions in stores like Target.
Although there are recycling programs for plastic shopping bags, only about 1 percent wind up recycled. More often than not, they’re discarded and turn into life-threatening plastic pollution.
Despite all of this, plastic bags are in almost every American home because retail giants like Target continue to use them for nearly every purchase made in their stores.
Between its eco-friendly product branding and its efforts to green its stores with more organic options, Target has positioned itself as a store that cares about sustainability. As one of the biggest retailers in the United States, Target’s actions can influence practices throughout the industry.
Target has set goals to reduce waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissionsand cut back on packaging for Target brand products. Yet thousands of times every day, the store sends shoppers home with single-use plastic bags — a billion a year — that end up in landfills and as litter that pollutes our remaining wild spaces and oceans, threatening sea turtles, birds and other wildlife.
Target tells its customers to “Expect More. Pay Less.” But the store ignores the high cost to the environment from its plastic bags. Other retailers and cities have successfully reduced their waste by eliminating plastic bags, making it easier to use reusable bags and rethinking how they bag purchases.
It’s time for Target to expect more… and bag less.
It’s up to us to hold Target responsible for its carbon footprint and plastic waste.
Join the Center in demanding that Target eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags from all stores in the United States.
Demand an end to single-use plastic bags in Target stores to fight climate change and protect wildlife.
Expect more. Bag less.