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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Greening of Target

You may have noticed the new reusable shopping bags at Target



$1.49 for the flat bottomed "shopper" version, and 99 cents for a tote style that zips up into a built-in pouch. Actually, I'd be curious if the bags are sold outside of California, if any of you out-of-state Target shoppers want to chime in. In California, retail stores of a certain size have to start providing affordable reusable bags, and recycling plastic ones, by law starting at the end of the month.

I mentioned previously that I have been using reusable canvas bags at the grocery store for years. Grocery store employees seem accustomed to the bags, and rarely do I have to point out my bags to the bagger.

At other retail stores, however, it has proven more difficult for me to regulate bag usage without coming off like a total b-i-t-c-h, so I stopped trying. I mean, these people get paid minimum wage, and all they are told is to put the stuff in the store's bag so somebody looking at a camera can see if anybody is stealing stuff on the way out. You kind of have to draw the line at how many demands you put on an employee in this position - you know? My cloth bags at Target have been used to carry items that had already been put in plastic bags, or they themselves were put in plastic bags. Other times I have left the store with 10 plastic bags for 5 items. It was difficult to suggest that my reusable bags be used for their true purpose, or that I didn't need a flimsy plastic bag to carry my 20 pound box of detergent, without coming off like an adult talking to a toddler, or a deranged woman ranting about what a waste plastic bags are. So I stopped trying to dictate bag usage for my purchases.

I'm excited to see reusable bags sold by the store itself, and hope using them at the store decreases the psycho bag lady factor. I'm not sure if the employees have been educated about the program yet, though. Both Target stores where I've used the new red bags tried to put them in a plastic bag (been there, done that), and then looked nervous when I suggested they put my other purchases inside the red bag instead. I have since put my name on the bags with the hope that they will seem more like *my bags* versus something I am buying. We shall see...

In other Target news - it is one of my favorite times of the year! The seasonal collection is 75% off - who-hoo!*


* I *may* have bought some disposable paper goods - does that negate any good I may have done with the reusable bags? Sawry...

37 comments:

leslie said...

i saw these bags from afar the other day (is afar a word??) and couldnt get there due to squawking kid syndrome...appears to be very cool!

Jane said...

I am off to Target in the AM! I bought some things for my sil shower on Thurs. if they are 75% off now I want a cost adjustment!! I didn't know about the shopping bag law! Yeah! I made a insulated tote to carry groceries in this summer. I took it to Costco today and it works well.

Mouse said...

Very cool. I was just at Target here in GA the other day but I didn't see those bags - I love my reusable shopping bags and would have definitely bought one from Target. I have a LOT of problems here with getting the cashiers to put things in MY bags.. I didn't think about the employee theft angle though as a reason why they wouldn't be agreeable. I'm fully used to being the crazy woman with the cloth bags.. lol.

The Calico Cat said...

I would check the Maryland Target for you, but I can not deal with the temptation...

BUT our grocers have been on the reuseable bags bandwagon for quite a while, once upon a time ago, they even gave you $.03 for each bag you used/reused.

With that said, the reuseable bags that they are selling now are no where near as nice (or sturdy) as the ones that they sold only a few years ago - I am glad I have a stash of the old ones... Now to take the crafty stuff out of them to use them at the grocery store is a near impossible task...

Jude said...

In Perth WA Australia - Target have had those for about 3 years. We have them in all stores and in some stores we can no longer get the disposable sort.

Heidi said...

thanks for the heads-up. Weren't you thinking of starting a Target blog? I'd read it, though I try to stay away these days. (saving $$ for adoption).

I think it's wonderful that you think of how your greening affects store workers. As much as I love Target, I don't think I'dlike to work there.

Sarah and Jack said...

I don't think we have those at Target here, unless they are hiding them.

I have the same problem when I try to bring my own bags, they put the stuff in the plastic bags first, then inside my own bag. Sadly, I gave up a long time ago.

Christina said...

I haven't noticed them here in Illinois, but I'll take a look when I go today!

Jennifer said...

love the 75% off I got lunch trays for $1 yesterday :)

shanna said...

ooh! i have to get to target! oregon is big into reuse/recycle but i didn't see them the last time i was there a week or so ago.

i've jumped on the fabric totes bandwagon just recently...i'm still not used to bringing them with me or i forget and leave them in the truck. i bought 10 of them for 99 cents each at albertsons (with their big ol' ugly logo on the front). if you use your own bags at albertsons they give you 5 cents reduced off your tab for every bag that's used.

SpAzzGiRL said...

Don't see those here at all but then again this is the land of plastic bags and people that try any different are glared at by pimply little bag boys who do the whole plastic inside your reusable anyways!
Further in the city, where the hipsters live, everyone uses reusable and it is the norm, but not in my area.

Dana said...

Those are so cute! Love the red! I will have to check out Target here in PA. I'll need blinders to get past the 75% off stuff though :)


Thanks for sharing :)


Dana
d07@goldingers.com

cece marie said...

Yipee! I just happened upon your blog and I love to meet someone else who brings reusable bags to the store. We have a completely plastic bag free home. I don't even use them for produce. I purchased these great produce bags at reusablebags.com. Check them out if you are interested! I felt goofy at first and didn't want to come off like the "crazy lady" but than I got to thinking that within our lifetime I believe some major changes are going to occur and those of us who are more proactive about protecting our environment will be remembered as leading the way to a better future and not crazy! Cheers to you and your efforts! Cece

telfair said...

Great -- this is Standard Operating Procedure in Australia so good to see it's finally coming to the US.

I'm with you -- I just haul my reusable bags to the store and never mind the funny looks. Haven't gotten up the guts to try with other stores, though -- I'll have to check our local Target!

Z said...

Yeah, you have to choose your battles.
:>)

jek-a-go-go said...

how nifty! i pretty much always use my own bags now regardless of where i'm shopping...even thrift shopping! :) i never have any problems though, I just sya "I brought my own bag(s)" and pull it out...sometims I have to remind them no bag but other than that all is swell! i had no idea about the law...thanks for the link!

Gracie said...

Reusable bags are the best. I do like them better than plastic bags. I know many stores here in Australia are starting to sell the bags or instead of using plastic bags lots of stores are giving reusable bags instead.
Anyway great blog =)

Gina said...

Wow, I love that bag!

woof nanny said...

I work at Costco, and starting July 1 we are getting rid of plastic bags and going back to boxes, or nothing at all. We're trying to give people a heads up so they don't freak out. Customers have become so accustomed to bags, and they want a gazillion. So part of why you receive so many when you shop is because that is what most people want (then they still grab a handful on top of everything). Too, the bags tend to break easily, so you can't really put too much inside one. I like the reusable ones that Trader Joes sell. They have insulated ones too, and super cheap. I was told Costco didn't want to provide a recycling bin, for whatever reason. The bags are sooo expensive though. We purchase 10 cases at least per day. That's per store. That's a lot of plastic.

Mom2fur said...

A few of our local supermarkets have started doing the 'green' thing and offering reusable bags. The cool thing is that I got 6 of them from my favorite store for free. They were 99 cents, but they rang 99 cents off, too! My problem is remembering to bring the things back into my car again. I just love them--so much sturdier and easier to carry than those skimpy plastic bags! (Although, I have to get the regular bags sometimes because I need them for the litter box and the ferret cage.)

Linda said...

We want one of each. I am off to Targee to get some. I am starting to collect these bags. I am taking a vacation to CA in July and I intend to visit Trader Joe's to get one of theirs too. Our local grocery store here have offered them too, but they are boring black. I can't wait to walk around here with a tropical print shopping bag.

Patricia said...

No bags at the Target in West Virginia or Pennsylvania I visited this week. I now how have an overflowing drawer of plastic Target bags.

califmom said...

Our Target (in California) had the zip version, available in the KNIFE AISLE, today. I bought 4 and was surprised at how much they held and how sturdy they were. I'm so used to the great one's that TJs has. I also love that they zip back into themselves. Of course, I did have to explain to the cashier what they were and ask him to take them out of the plastic bag and actually use them for my stuff. Little bit of a learning curve. I put up some pictures of the zippables on my blog today.

Raesha D said...

OH man!!! I'm in NM and our Targets do not have these....my hubby works there as says he has not heard anything about them at all. Will someone buy me some....please!!! :):) Seriously, email me if interested at raeshadrz at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I don't think all Targets have them. But you can order them online from the Target team member site www.bullseyeshop.com. There's lots of other Target-branded stuff there too.

wink said...

The bags are great, they come in two versions. A small, self-zippered version and a larger tote version. Right now, they are only sold in California and on www.bullseyeshop.com/

Wink in Minneapolis designed the graphics, but do not actually sell the bags.

www.wink-mpls.com

Anonymous said...

Check your local Target around Jan 13th.

Anonymous said...

Hey. I live in Colorado, and we just got the new reusable Target bags!

Anonymous said...

We have them in Charlotte, NC! Just bought mine today. I love the large "shopper" version, since all my reusable bags are smaller. I can put a whole trip to SuperTarget in one bag, or two if I go crazy!

bridgmanpottery said...

these just showed up in memphis this week, jan 13th. Yay! I happened to forget my bag and bought one!

jennieg said...

Saw them this week at Target in New Hampshire. I am going on a vacation back to the homeland and was thinking of ideas to put the presents in for the relatives. These hit the mark perfectly. BTW I still like the Target plastic bags over flimsy grocery bags any day. I re-use the plastic bags as trash bags at home. We can also recycle the flimsy grocery bags at the grocery stores here so I do that as well.

We should do like Europe where no grocery bags are given but are available at a price. They are usually nicer/sturdier and you would likely reuse them more when they are not free. I am glad to see the stores doing their part ...

Blondie said...

I JUST finally saw these bags at Target in Iowa today (2/2/08)! They look pretty great.

Anonymous said...

I just bought 3 of the flat-bottom kind last week here in Texas. I've been able to actually bring in all my weekly groceries to my 2nd-floor apartment in one trip both times I've used them. They used 2 bags--usually takes at least 7 plastic bags. And I still had a free hand to hold my umbrella (it was raining hard today). Plus, since the bags are built for shoulder carriage, it's easier to avoid snagging them on the bushes growing right up next to both sides of the sidewalk path. I don't have to haul them over my shoulder Santa-style or have them banging into my legs and bruising my shins. I haven't seen any other customers using them though.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, that was on 2/13/2008 for Texas...in the bargain aisle up front with a bunch of ~$1 items

Anonymous said...

In Minneapolis, MN we've had the reusable Target bags available for several months now. I believe I purchased some in Oct or Nov 07.

Of course, the Target headquarters are here so Mpls/St. Paul stores often are start the pilot merchandise to gage popularity.

I heard that some stores are going to give them out for FREE. I'm trying to confirm that rumor. Even though I work for Target, I haven't been able to find anyone who seems to know more info about the FREE reusable bags.

I'll check the internal Target HQ web site to see if I can get some details. Glad to hear so many users are pleased with this green product!

udandi said...

I've seen them at Cincinnati stores.

I don't own any because I have a huge xyron bag, Ikea bag and our local grocery store bags. Before they start ringing me up, I ask that they use my bags and they are agreeable!

WendyZ said...

Yes! Targets in Rocky Mount, Wilson, Raleigh, and Knightdale, NC have had them for a while it seems.

I also got a kick out of the totes made from Target plastic bags, but they are more costly and seem more for artistic purposes or making a point.