No Plastic Shopping Bags At Target

Last Update: Oct 7, 2018

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Last week I traveled to California for business and had to stop at Target to pick up a few things and was surprised to find that no plastic bags were hanging on the self-service lanes. I had to search my fifty plus going on fifteen gray matter, and I remembered that California had outlawed plastic bags recently so carried my merchandise out in my hands.

I believe in being environmentally conscious, but at the same time I am a realist, so I am curious about the impact of not using plastic bags in the United States.

In 2017, the Environmental Science & Technology Journal had an interesting article posted that ten river systems are primarily responsible for depositing plastic pollution in our oceans. Eight of the river systems are in Asia, and the other two are in Africa, and 90% of plastic pollution originates from these areas.

Even though the majority of plastic pollution does not come directly from the United States, I believe we need to make efforts to reduce plastic shopping bags but think charging for each bag would drive make a more significant impact.

In 2017, Isreal started charging three cents for each plastic bag, and initial reports estimate that there has been an 80% reduction on bag utilization due to fees. I have always believed that giving consumers a choice versus banning something provides more beneficial results typically.

  • I am curious about your thoughts on how to limit the use of plastic shopping bags.

Have a great day, and it's terrific being fifty plus going on fifteen.


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Recent Comments


We've switched to using reusable shopping bags for weekly grocery shopping, but neglect to take them when it's a quick run to the store for an ingredient we forgot. So far, plastic bags are still readily available in our area, but I wouldn't be surprised if at some point that changes.

Good morning and I believe stores will phase them out as a way to promote corporate green strategy. I believe I will have my bride start making bags out of biodegradable materials. J

This has been raising many eyebrows in Australia in recent times. Here, all but 1 (maybe 2) states have outlawed the use of free plastic bags in our super markets however superkarkets in all states have implemented shopping bag free processes.

The main issue here has been that the supermarkets now charge us 15c - $1.99 per plastic bag which is reuasable. This has led to an increased revenue in the very high triple digit millions. The owning corporations state that they donate this money to the environment which, depending on the news outlet you listen to, is or is not happening.

Supermakrets are also noticing a decline in sales numbers as people now do not buy as many items as they may have - especially those impulse buys - due to the fact that they only want to buy 1 bag.

I personally agree with the concept, getting it bedded down and accepted by the greater community is the hard thing it seems - at lease here in Australia.


Paul, it is interesting how this disruption is impacting total sales. Thanks for the share. J

That's a thing so difficult to implement. For strict compliance and easy management factories should be warned not to produce plastics.
I wonder why government keeps on giving the fault on the consumers but not really looking at the root which is the easiest way to stop.

I have a hard time understanding not manufacturing biodegradable bags. Thanks for stopping by. J

I would agree on biodegradable plastics.

It would be nice if more stores followed suite and people realize the amount of damage related to plastic conveniences. It really bothers me when people can be so dis-respectful. Thank you for the share Jay.

Thanks, I agree it is time to look at alternative methods and it kills me that a biodegradable option has not been developed. J

A user-friendly failure!

Mike,it would be nice if there was a biodegradable option. J

Hi Jay,
It a good start, however there are more plastic containers still being used. What about all those soda and water bottles?

I carry a load of bags in the boot of my car, and still I sometimes forget to take some into the store with me.

I also used the plastic bags for disposal of my wet rubbish. Now I have to buy freezer bags instead.

We don't have enough rubbish bins around anymore. If more bins were provided, say at boat slips & picnic grounds, people would be more inclined to dispose of bags etc responsibly.

Anyhow that's my input.

Cheers Jae

Jae, the pulled the recycling center out of our town a few years ago... go figure. I believe people would be more considerate if given options. Thanks... J

Yes, people need to get used to the idea of bringing their own bags.
They are re-usable and for the crafty, sewist there are tons of free patterns to make your own bags.

Use fabrics and colors that appeal to you - denim is a great way to repurpose an old pair of jeans and it makes a very durable and washable bag.

Personalize your bag with your niche logo or initial - make it fun and maybe more people will join the trend.

Thanks and I love the idea. J

We have reuseable shopping bags that we sold in our pilates studios that were not really a big seller. when these laws came in here we gave them away to all of our members. It was bascially cheap advertising and we now see our bags in our local shopping centre all the time!!

Hey Jay,

Kroger is doing it too -- they haven't gotten rid of all their plastic bags yet, but they are in the process of going all paper.

I have been using my own bags for years to avoid the plastic ones - unless the paper bags are an option.

Still have the same bags and they are in great condition.

Hard to believe biodegradable bags similar to plastic bags have not been developed. J

I didn't know about that law but it's a good one. I'm guessing charging money for them would be the most effective deterrent.
If I had to pay, say 5 cents a bag on a big grocery shopping trip, I'd sure do that BYOBags thing!

Sue, agree with pay as you go reducing use but would rather see a biodegradable plastic bag. J

So invent one!!

Sue, that is the plan. J

That where you need to bring your own shopping bags.

You got it. I forgot that California had outlawed bags. J

I always bring my own shopping bags here in Maryland.

Thats cool.... J

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