Dinkytown Target plastic bag policy needs change

by Kevin O’Brien, University student

After a full day on campus, I stopped by the new TargetExpress in Dinkytown to pick up a few items. Within 10 minutes in the Dinkytown Target Express, where I bought four small items, I acquired two disposable plastic bags before I could even ask that the cashier not give me any.

This avoidable pollution and waste of resources has proven to be Target Corp.’s standard operating procedure, and that needs to change to match the company’s corporate responsibility for sustainability.

Several towns across the United States have adopted contemporary legislation requiring customers to purchase a plastic bag for a nominal fee if a customer did not bring their own reusable bags.

Locally, students are not likely to carry around a reusable shopping bag, unless of course you count the backpack we carry every day. A majority of the Dinkytown store’s customers are students purchasing minimal items that could easily fit in a backpack.

I recommend searching the Internet for “plastic bag statistics.” You will be appalled. I am not even going to cite any statistics here because they seem too drastic for an objective opinion. Seriously, check it out.

I now have two parts of a major international pollution problem in my backpack and a local solution steaming from my ears. I applaud Target’s attempt to operate as a sustainable company by putting recycling in all its stores, even with a specific container for their plastic shopping bags among their several other green initiatives. However, Target’s current operating procedure is costing this planet more than just dollars.

If Target simply asks a customer if they would like a bag, many people will say no. Whether it is from their conscience or simple logic, it is dollars and sense. Target could reduce its pollution and costs while appealing to anyone who advocates sustainability.