mr010509Target Australia stores at eight Far North Coast locations will no longer be offering plastic shopping bags at the checkouts from June 1. Target Australia yesterday announced that plastic bags would be not be offered in any one of the 283 Target and Target Country stores nationally.

On the Far North Coast, Target has stores in Ballina, Casino, Goonellabah, Lismore, Grafton, Yamba, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads. Target says that nationally, it hands out 100 million plastic bags a year.

Launa Inman, Target’s Managing Director, said the decision to go national was made following the successful implementation of a similar change in its South Australian stores in December, which had a positive response from customers and staff members.

“We all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment. One way is to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags in our business,” she said.

“Target stores currently issue over 100 million plastic shopping bags each year to customers and from 1 June this will stop.

“Target has been actively involved for some time in programs to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, such as the National Packaging Covenant and ‘Say no to plastic bags’ campaign.

“However, we still hand out far too many. So for Target it wasn’t a matter of if we stop issuing plastic shopping bags, it was a matter of when, and the when for Target is now.

“Our customers will have a choice from 1 June. They can choose not to use a bag, they can choose to bring their own shopping bag or if they wish to purchase one, we will have a range available including reusable bags from $1 and compostable bags from 10 cents.

“Staff members at the checkouts, supported by in-store customer signage and a dedicated education campaign, will be encouraging customers to make a choice – don’t use a bag, bring your own bag or if you need one we have a range available.”

Leading environmental campaigner on plastic bags, Jon Dee, has welcomed Target’s announcement.

“This is a major breakthrough in the push to reduce Australia’s reliance on single-use plastic shopping bags,” said Mr Dee, Do Something Chairman and Founder of The National Plastic Bag Campaign.

“It’s wonderful to see a major national retailer taking the lead by removing plastic shopping bags from its stores.”

The key component of Target’s bag range is the reusable ‘Red Bag’ that comes in three sizes, with all profits from the sale of these bags going to Target’s national community partner, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

For full details on Target’s environmental policy visit www.target.com.au