Pick up an iPod carrying case at your local Target, and you might notice a very small change. Instead of a pesky, virtually-impossible-to-open plastic clamshell, it'll be packaged in cardboard.
In the business section of this Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle (picked up from Scripps) is an article on the greening of retail, specifically as it pertains to product packaging.
The iPod carrying case isn't the only Target product that's getting lighter packaging; several hundred other items are getting a similar makeover. And Target isn't the only retail giant making this move, Wal-Mart is doing the same, and has pledged to phase out all private-label PVC packaging by 2009.
That's right, not only is all of that plastic packaging wasteful, it's made from PVC, which, as we've blogged before, is pretty nasty stuff.
So this whole packaging re-think is a good start, but are big retailers taking this concept far enough?
We're just not sure.
The move is certainly significant. The article points out that packaging accounts for 32 percent of the waste that ends up in landfills.
However, packaging isn't Target's only problem. Over the years, Target has taken some serious flak for its PVC-heavy products (shower curtains, packaging, baby products). Groups like PVCFree.org have urged the giant to follow in the footsteps of companies like H&M and IKEA and phase out its PVC products altogether. So far Target has made no such move.
Getting rid of the PVC packaging is a great start, but why have any PVC in your stores when there are plenty of good alternatives? That's our question.
What do you think?