Packaging Sustainability – US Retail Giant Leads the Way

Sustainable Packaging Goals

Eco -friendly symbol

US retailing giant, Target has introduced new packaging sustainability goals. This is further evidence of the massive trend towards more sustainable packaging.
One of the largest retail chains in the world, US chain Target has announced five new sustainable packaging goals. Target has already taken the lead on this by announcing a commitment in 2013 to improve the sustainability of at least 50 of their owned brand packages by 2016. Target say that they have exceeded this goal, as they now offer up 160 enhanced packaging designs that used fewer materials and contain more recycled content and are recyclable themselves.

Target’s Five Sustainable Packaging Goals

Target's Sustainable packaging goals

The goals are reasonably concrete and some of the goals could be checked by consumers themselves in store. For example, a consumer will be able to check whether there is any expanded polystyrene in their packaging in the year 2022 and will be able to see if their owned branded packaging includes a how2recycle label by 2020. the goals also appear to be well thought out as they address not only improving the sustainability of the packaging materials used but also some of the goals address creating a market for recycled materials, thereby closing the “reduce-reuse-recycle” loop.

Relevance for the Irish manufacturers.

You may ask what has this got to do with your business here in Ireland? We know that it is good business practice to be aware of global trends and when a massively successful business such as Target is investing in sustainability, we think it is worth taking a few minutes to learn about what and why they are doing this.

From reading this, we hope you may get insight into what sustainability issues your business could address and how your business may actually profit from better satisfying the needs of your customers who are environmentally conscious.

We previously published a Blog entitled “Sustainability Drives Sales” This article examined research on whether or not consumers buy more from companies they perceive as “green” or sustainable in any way, including whether or not your packaging is compostable/recycled. The Research concluded that it was profitable for a business to invest in sustainability, provided of course that your consumers are aware that you have invested in more sustainable manufacturing or packaging materials.

Why are Target doing this?

We have already seen above what it is that Target are doing regarding making their packaging sustainability. Let’s look now at why they are doing this

As the 11th largest retail chain in the world (source:, Target is clearly an extremely successful business. However according to their website, the main driver in creating the sustainable packaging goals is that that their customers or “guests” as they like to call them, are very conscious of their impact on the environment. “We know our guests pay attention to packaging and its impact on the environment,” says Jennifer Silberman, Target’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “When we provide them with thoughtfully designed, environmentally friendly packaging, we’re able to help them take another step toward sustainable living.”

Target want to deliver products that are “both better-for-you and better for the environment”

“As a leader in design, we can use our expertise to create more sustainable packaging options for our guests and help deliver products that are both better-for-you and better for the environment,” Jennifer says. “With the power of Target’s team and our scale as one of the country’s largest retailers, we hope to be a catalyst for change across the industry—aiming for the day when all packaging will be recyclable, and leading the way to a packaging-waste-free world.”
You can read more about Target’s Sustainable Packaging Goals here

What can you do to make your packaging more sustainable?

There are numerous ways that you can make your packaging more sustainable. At Dollard Packaging, we can help you explore the many ways you can make your packaging more sustainable. This can be using a more environmentally friendly board or film. The structure of your packaging can also be considered to see if less materials can be used while still fit for purpose. Your packaging design should also include information about the sustainability of the packaging so that your consumers are aware that you are working towards more sustainable products and packaging.

We have published several blogs on the issue of sustainability, a few of which we list below. There are many other blogs on the sustainability issue on our website. Check them out here.

Cartons – Recycling and Recovery


Hyland’s New Eco-Friendly Package Design

Is This the Future of Packaging?

Talk to us at Dollard Packaging if you have any queries regarding packaging and sustainability.
Tel 01 847 00 44 or email us at