Burt’s Bees, PLUS, Pacifica, Others Join Target’s Zero-Waste Packaging Innovation

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Target mobile app sign on screen

Several major brands have joined Target’s next push toward sustainability, Target Zero. 

The new initiative — with CGs like Burt’s Bees, PLUS, Pacifica, and more already signing on — communicates to consumers the products and packaging that are designed to be refillable, reusable, or compostable, or are made from either recycled content or materials that reduce the use of plastic.

Target will also feature select products from Grove Co. and its owned brand Everspring starting in April.  

Target Zero Logo
The new Target Zero icon identifies products designed to reduce waste. Source: Target

Items that fall within these categories will have a Target Zero icon in stores and online. Target will be featuring signage across its beauty, personal care, and household essentials categories — with plans to expand into others.

For example, the retailer will add the label to Burt’s Bees products that use metal tins for lip balms, as they are recyclable and made without any single-use plastics. It will also designate a body wash from PLUS as a Target Zero item due to its packaging — a dehydrated, dissolvable square — which reduces water waste. 

"Our main goal at PLUS is to make sustainable swaps more accessible. Millions of people buy body wash at Target, so meeting them where they are — in the aisle — lowers the barrier to trial," PLUS co-founder and CEO Cathryn Woodruff tells CGT. "Target's support through Target Zero adds even more credibility to planet-friendly brands like PLUS, which is essential to inspire consumer behavior change."

Target’s goal is to achieve zero-waste solutions — an initiative being led by Target Forward, the brand’s sustainability strategy. 

[Related: Target Aims to be Net Zero Enterprise by 2040 in New Sustainability Strategy]

According to Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Target Foundation, Target Zero makes significant progress towards the brand’s Target Forward ambitions, which require collaboration across the retail and consumer goods space. 

“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,” she added.  

Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, said the brand recognizes a growing call from consumers to find products that fit their lifestyles but are designed with sustainability in mind. 

“Our aim with Target Zero is to keep delivering on their needs through our ever-evolving product assortment, as well as to give brands investing in reduced waste products and packaging an opportunity to have those products highlighted by Target,” added Sando. 

Target said it hopes to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences by 2030. By 2025, the brand hopes to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable or reusable materials in its owned brand plastic packaging. 

Sustainability initiatives are on an accelerated growth track, with both CGs and retailers looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and find more efficient solutions across the value chain. 

[Related: 10 CGs Ranked ‘Most Sustainable' in 2022]

Recent packaging changes by companies like Molson Coors, Mentos, and Coca-Cola are moving away from plastics and keeping reusability in mind. Additionally, much like Target’s collaboration with key CG brands, organizations across the globe are looking for ways to work together on these initiatives. 

Within the beauty industry, for example, several major beauty brands have joined a EcoBeautyScore Consortium that will hold CGs and retailers accountable for their product formulas, packaging, and usage and their effect on the environment. 

Target’s latest push follows several related actions, including teaming up with CVS and Walmart to reinvent the plastic retail bag.

Target Announces Target Zero: A New, Curated Collection of Products Aiming to Replace Single-Use Packaging
Target announces Target Zero: A new, curated collection of products aiming to replace single-use packaging. Source: Target

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