THE retail giant Target has confirmed it will ban plastic bags in its 283 Australian stores next month. It will be the first large retailer to break ranks and ban bags on environmental grounds.
Instead of issuing plastic bags to shoppers at checkouts, from June 1 Target will require shoppers to either bring their own bags or buy reusable bags for $1 each or compostable corn starch bags for 10 cents each.
Other retailers are understood to be furious at the decision because it undermines what was a solid retail opposition to banning bags.
Target says the ban will stop 100 million plastic bags from going into landfill and polluting the environment each year – or just under 3 per cent of the 4 billion bags that pass through Australian checkouts each year.
From Monday, South Australia will enforce a ban on plastic bags from all shops, which is expected to save another 400 million bags.
The federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, promised to legislate for a national ban last year, but ended up leaving the decision to each state.
Most plastic bags used in Australia end up in landfill tips, though millions find their way into bushland and waterways.
Profits from Target’s reusable bag sales will go to a children’s charity, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
Target Australia will stop using plastic bagsPosted: May 1, 2009 in environment