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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Target Commits to 5 Bold Sustainable Packaging Goals for 2022

Just weeks after releasing a new forest products policy, in which it pledges to source all of the wood, paper, paper-based and wood-based fiber used in its brand-owned products from post-consumer recycled materials and credibly certified forests, retail giant Target has announced five new sustainable packaging goals.

“We know our guests pay attention to packaging and its impact on the environment,” said Jen 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.”

The brand has outline five major goals to be achieved by 2022:

  • Source all brand-owned paper-based packaging from sustainably managed forests by 2022: The cornerstone of the brand’s forest products policy, the goal will see Target collaborate with its vendors and partners to pinpoint the origins of the raw materials that go into its paper-based packaging and improve the sustainability of forests where the timber used to produce them is grown.
  • Work to eliminate expanded polystyrene from brand-owned packaging by 2022: Polystyrene is not only difficult to recycle, it’s a major cause of ocean plastic contamination and can negatively affect manufacturing workers’ health if not produced using safe methods. As part Target’s chemical policy, the retailer has committed to working with suppliers and partners to find alternatives for polystyrene.
  • Add the How2Recycle label to all brand-owned packaging by 2020: GreenBlue’s How2Recycle label is an industry standard that educates consumers about how to properly recycle a particular piece of packaging. As a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Target already uses the label on more than 1,700 of its product packages. The retailer has pledged to continue looking for way to place the label on more of its brand-owned packaging whenever space allows.
  • Support The Recycling Partnership’s mission to improve how more than 25 percent of Americans recycle by 2020: As one of the first retailers to join The Recycling Partnership, Target is committing to connecting customers with the resources they need to recycle. The company plans to help deliver more curbside recycling programs to underserved communities to increase recycling and make more recycled raw materials available for packaging.
  • Create more demand for recycled packaging by creating three new end markets for recycled materials by 2020: To educate consumers about the importance of recycling, Target has joined two industry efforts —the Material Recovery Facility of the Future and Beyond 34. The Material Recovery Facility of the Future is a project working toward a vision that all packaging can be recycled, while Beyond 34, focuses on demonstrating and sharing the best practices to raise the U.S. 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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