How Target Plastic Bag Recycling Program Works?

How Target Plastic Bag Recycling Program Works

Each day, millions of tons of plastic waste are generated globally, with only a fraction being recycled. In fact, according to National Geographic, only 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide, with the majority ending up in landfills or polluting our oceans.

In the United States alone, approximately 100 billion plastic bags are used each year, with the average person using 1.6 plastic bags per day. Unfortunately, only 1% of these plastic bags are recycled, with the remainder ending up in landfills or as litter.

Thankfully, companies like Target are doing their part to reduce the amount of plastic waste by providing convenient recycling options for their customers. Through their in-store plastic bag recycling kiosks, Target has collected over 1 billion plastic bags since 2010, helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or polluting our environment.

In addition to plastic bags, Target also accepts a variety of other materials for recycling, including glass, plastic, and aluminum bottles, as well as electronic devices like MP3 players, cell phones, and printer ink cartridges. By collecting and sending these materials to waste-sorting facilities, Target is helping to divert these items from landfills and support the creation of new products made from recycled materials.

Types Of Recyclable Plastics that Target Accept

Recycling plastic is an important step in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and pollutes the environment. However, not all types of plastic are created equal when it comes to recycling. To determine which plastics are recyclable in your area, it’s important to check the number on the bottom of your plastic containers and consult the informational materials provided by your waste collector.

While most plastic materials can be recycled in some way, plastic film or bags are not typically accepted by city waste collection services. This is where retailers like Target come in, providing convenient options for consumers to recycle these materials.

Target has made it easy for customers to recycle a variety of plastic items that includes

  • single-use plastic bags
  • plastic beverage bottles
  • electronic devices made of plastic such as cell phones and MP3 players
  • printer ink cartridges made from plastic and other materials

Even Target’s own reusable carryout bags can be recycled through their plastic bag recycling receptacles. In general, if it’s a plastic bag, chances are you can recycle it at Target.

By offering these recycling options, Target is helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and pollutes our environment. This commitment to sustainability is an example for other businesses to follow, as we all work towards a more eco-friendly future.

Proper Plastic Recycling: Steps to Follow

When it comes to recycling plastic bags and other single-use plastic items, it is essential to take the right steps. Here’s how to do it properly:

  1. Empty the bag or container of any contents first.
  2. If the plastic is soiled with oil, food residue, or other contaminants, wash it thoroughly with soap and water, and let it dry.
  3. After cleaning, dispose of the plastic bags in the appropriate plastic bag recycling bin.
  4. For those with multiple bags, place them in a single bag and recycle the entire bundle at once. You may keep a plastic bag in your home to store your recyclable plastic bags, then drop the bag in a recycling kiosk at a nearby Target store.

Target recycling works by providing recycling stations in front of their stores where customers can drop off their recyclable items such as bottles, glass, cans, plastic bags, and small electronics. These items are then taken to distribution centers where they are processed and sent to local recyclers or resellers for reuse or refurbishment. Plastic bags and film are usually sold to multiple vendors who recycle and reuse the material. Target does not pay cash for recycling, but they offer various programs to incentivize customers to recycle, such as the car-seat trade-in event.

Reusing Plastic Bags at Home

Recycling is not the only way to reduce the number of plastic bags that end up in landfills. Reusing your plastic bags at home is another way to extend their life cycle. Kitchen-use bags, especially those from Ziploc, are often made of thick plastic that can withstand multiple uses. Washing and drying empty plastic food bags make them reusable, saving you from using new ones.

Why Recycling Is Important?

According to, Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags annually, or more than 300 bags per person each year. A single plastic bag takes about 1,000 years to decompose, but it’s used for only an average of 12 minutes. Over 100 million marine animals die each year due to plastic debris in oceans and other waterways, according to a UNESCO study, and a significant portion of this debris is made up of plastic bags.

In addition, when plastic bags degrade into tiny particles called microplastics, they enter our food and water supplies, eventually accumulating in our bodies. Researchers have found microplastics in human blood samples and lung tissue, indicating their negative health effects.

Plastic-Use Regulations

Governments are enacting legislation to regulate the use and reuse of single-use plastics due to the negative environmental and health effects of plastic waste. Ten US states have banned single-use plastic bags entirely, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In some of these states, however, retailers can distribute plastic bags if they provide a convenient location for collecting and recycling them. Other states allow businesses to distribute plastic bags that are strong enough to be considered reusable. Washington State, for example, requires that plastic carryout bags contain at least 40% recycled plastic and have a minimum thickness of 2.25 mil. These bags must also cost a minimum of 8 cents. Target’s carryout bags are made from at least 40% recycled content in accordance with this law and similar ones in other states.

Does Target Pay For Recycling?

Target does not offer cash payment for recycling. However, it provides several programs that enable customers to save money while contributing to environmental conservation. For instance, Target’s car-seat trade-in event allows customers to exchange their old and unused car seats for a 20% off coupon on select items.

Does Target Charge For Bags?

Target sells durable and reusable bags with their iconic red bullseye logo for 99 cents, which is still lower than the general cost of plastic bags in the U.S. which recently increased to 8 to 10 cents, varying from state to state.

For those who want a more stylish option, Target also offers geometrically patterned reusable tote bags for $1.99 and a range of Game of Thrones-themed bags for $9.99 each.

Bulk purchases of reusable bags are also available online, with 10-24 Juvale grocery bags costing between $10.99 and $20.99. The Packit Freezable grocery bag is also sold by Target at a higher price point of $25.49-$29.99.

To encourage customers to use their own bags, Target has implemented a 5-cent discount for each reusable bag used as part of its initiative.

Target has implemented various initiatives and collaborations to reduce their plastic waste, such as using more sustainable packaging materials and partnering with organizations to promote recycling and sustainability.

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