Target Bans Plastic Shopping Bags but Small Stores Feel the Pressure

Published On May 22, 2009

From June 1st Target stores around Australia will no longer supply plastic shopping bags to customers. Instead, Target will make available to customers a range of reusable bags from $1.00ea to $2.99ea and compostable bags from 10c to 20c each.

Although Target’s move to ban plastic shopping bags follows a trend in local communities which has been going on for the past few years, a trend which I should add has long been preceded by the organic movement, according to Ben Cubby of the Sydney Morning Herald:

Other retailers are understood to be furious at the decision because it undermines what was a solid retail opposition to banning bags.”

The solidarity of retailers in favour of retaining the conventional single use plastic bags, especially the smaller retailers, is probably hardly surprising given the cost of alternatives. Smaller retailers are constantly under pressure to compete with the larger stores and the cost of reusable bags could therefore be a significant additional problem for them.

We should be mindful of the pressures on smaller businesses because of these changes and work with them to facilitate change.