Target on Wednesday announced a new packaging and signage effort dubbed Target Zero, notifying customers of hundreds of products in beauty, personal care and household supplies "designed to be refillable, reusable or compostable, made from recycled content, or made from materials that reduce the use of plastic."
The Target Zero icon will be found in stores and online, indicating third-party brands like Burt's Bees, Plus and Pacifica. Select products from Grove Co. and Target's private Everspring label will be added in April, according to an emailed press release.
The merchandising approach is part of the retailer's Forward sustainability strategy, which includes the goals of using recyclable, compostable or reusable plastic packaging by 2025 for its owned brands and becoming "the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences by 2030."
Target's consumer product packaging and labeling initiative appears to address the conflicted nature of consumers' attitudes as identified by McKinsey & Co. last year: "Consumers are highly aware of sustainability issues, with their concerns accelerating, but they remain confused."
Like other Target Forward initiatives, Target Zero has required collaboration with vendors, according to a statement from Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Target Foundation.
"By making it easier for our guests to identify which products are designed to reduce waste, Target Zero helps them make informed decisions about what they purchase and advances a collective impact across our brand partners, our product shelves, and within our homes and communities," Nusz said.
Nusz said that realizing the goals also requires "action from our guests," and Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, said the retailer has been hearing from them.
"We can't wait to introduce our guests to Target Zero because we recognize their growing calls to find products that fit within their lifestyle, designed with sustainability," Sando said in a statement.
The effort takes advantage of advancements in plastic packaging, which McKinsey said is likely here to stay, but with sustainability improved by reusing or recycling plastic, or rendering it compostable. Some Target Zero packaging does avoid single-use plastic. Those include lip balms from Burt's Bees encased in recyclable metal tins, exclusive to Target, and a Plus body wash that is a dehydrated, dissolvable square that transforms when water is added, per the release.