Target & How2Recycle

Target’s Kim Carswell explains why the retail giant decided to join the How2Recycle program

Kim Carswell, Senior Manager of Packaging for Target

At Target, our guests are the center of everything we do.  We have a strong connection to our guests, and we continue to seek ways to be relevant to them.  Adding the How2Recycle label to our owned brand packaging is a way to heighten this relevancy.

Why did you decide to use the label?

Two reasons: our guests and our company strategies.

We know that how our guests manage their packaging when they are done with it is a key way for them to live sustainably. Adding the H2R label to our packaging will help them dispose of it the right way.  Using the label also increases the transparency between Target and our guests, which is important to us.

The label aligns with our three sustainability strategies:

  1.  Provide our guests with ways to live more sustainably
  2.  Offer a great assortment of sustainable products
  3.  Reduce waste

How did you go about it?

We were very intent to attach this work to other brand redesigns already in the works.. We are looking at a long term schedule that will allow the work to grow organically. We are keen not to create packaging waste when we change our packaging designs. We plan to flow through the changes so that old inventories can be depleted. Another key goal is to embed the addition of the label into current processes as much as we can to set ourselves up for a robust and sustainable approach.

What Target products currently use the label?

We have the How2Recycle label on our food brands including Market Pantry, Archer Farms, and Simply Balanced.  It is also on a wide array of our up&up products and select Spritz party supplies items.

And finally…

Here are 10 things we learned along the way and want to share with you. Success for Target, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and all the other How2Recycle label users is for more and more companies to sign on, so we are delighted to share what we learned.

  1.  Tie H2R to company strategies
  2.  Take internal partners and engage them
  3.  Find and tap into internal leaders
  4.  Share the story
  5.  Attach this work to planned brand designs
  6.  Go to where people are
  7.  Keep a close connection with the SPC
  8.  Be flexible
  9.  Keep sharing the story
  10.  Recognize and celebrate the people and work


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