This letter to the editor was printed in the Star Tribune on October 24, 2014
Are PLASTIC BAGS NEEDED?
Companies like Target ought to at least ask
After a full day on the University of Minnesota campus, I stopped by the new Target Express in Dinkytown. I bought four small items — and acquired two disposable plastic bags before I could even ask for none. This avoidable pollution and waste of resources has proved to be Target Corp.’s standard operating procedure and needs to change to match the company’s sustainable practices.
Several towns across the country have adopted legislation requiring customers to purchase a plastic bag for a nominal fee if they did not bring reusable bags. Locally, students are not likely to carry around a reusable shopping bag — unless, of course, you count the backpacks they carry everyday. A majority of the Dinkytown store’s customers are students looking for minimal items that could easily fit in a backpack.
I recommend you search the Internet for “plastic bag statistics.” You will be appalled.
If Target simply asks customers if they would like a bag, people will say no. Whether it is from conscience or simple logic, it is dollars and sense. Target could reduce its pollution and costs while appealing to anyone who advocates sustainability.
Kevin O’Brien, Minneapolis