Minimising our waste
This past year has witnessed a growing understanding within Australia of the environmental and economic challenges associated with waste.
Likewise, Target recognises its responsibility to significantly reduce the waste arising from its retail operations.
Single use plastic shopping bags
Target has committed to remove single use plastic shopping bags from all stores nationally by early 2019. This year saw the development of new re-usable, entry level plastic bags, made with 80 per cent recycled material, which will be implemented in all states starting with Western Australia and Queensland from 1 July 2018.
To encourage customers to change their behaviour and re-use bags when shopping, Target is charging 15 cents for medium-sized entry level re-usable bags and 30 cents for a larger version.
These changes along with instore marketing and team member training aim to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags being issued to customers by 80 per cent over coming years.
Target has worked closely with its sister company, Kmart, to undertake a detailed investigation of its waste and recycling systems, processes and infrastructure. This has included detailed waste and infrastructure audits of 50 stores and Distribution Centres. The findings of this investigation will be used to support key recommendations and actions in future waste diversion programs. Ahead of these changes, a review of existing waste and recycling contractors was completed with a number of changes made to service provider contracts to ensure that they support increased diversion of waste going to landfill.
During the year, Target met all its regulatory obligations under the 'National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme Product Stewardship Agreement' by its membership of an approved co-regulatory arrangement via MRI PSO Pty Ltd.
Under this arrangement, Target funded the collection and recycling of 81,523 kilograms of complying e-waste items including televisions, computer and peripheral devices.
Australian Packaging Covenant and 2025 target
Target is a proud member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). This year, Target used APCO’s newly created Annual Reporting Tool to review progress of Target’s packaging programs. Through this process, Target has identified a number of opportunities for improvement and has developed an action plan in response to the target set in April 2018 by Australia’s Environment Ministers to make 100 per cent of packaging in Australia re-usable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.