*notcot in wearable , 12:38

Target + Newsweek + Terracycle = Bags!- 05.05.08

retote.jpgI think this is the most interesting Reusable Bag story yet… Target teams up with Newsweek and Terracycle to create reusable totes out of fused target plastic bags! Finally - a recycled reusable bag that looks like the bags it came from and is replacing! And that’s not all… the Newsweek aspect is fascinating as well - you rip off the cover of the latest “green” issue, and are taught how to tape up the cover into a prepaid envelope that you can put Target plastic bags in, and mail them in for a coupon to get one of the Terracycle $6 ReTotes for free in a Target Store. Basically the bags end up feeling much like those blue/yellow IKEA bags ~ a bit on the crunchy side, and probably waterproof (with the exception of the seam perhaps. See the press release here.

So in usual NOTCOT fashion, we couldn’t help ourselves, and picked up an issue, took a few sneaky shots in Target of the display, and walk you through the whole process in pictures on the next page! I suppose my one biggest question is… these bags made in Vietnam, are they actually out of bags people have recycled? Or did they use new bags to make the first batch of bags to get this whole program rolling?







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19 Notes

I got my coupon this week and took it in for my free bag. Not all target stores have the bags. I had to explain the coupon to them. But I do like the bag.

----- mom 09.01.09 22:02

Don’t be fooled by Target’s effort to recycle.It’s very hypocritical. Go to any of their Customer Service Desks and look behind the counter. All the plastic shopping bags customers bring in with returns are throw into the garbage and sent to the waste dump. They are NOT recycled. That probably adds up to hundreds of bags a week per store. I’ve offered to take the bags myself and recycle them but they say it’s not in their policy.

----- Lauren 15.10.08 07:14

Where did you find this? I received my voucher from Target and Newsweek and proceeded to call/visit 10 area Targets in the California Bay Area through the middle two weeks of September. None of them had it.

My coupon is now expired. I am so sad.

----- Sofia 08.10.08 10:23


----- melissa 06.10.08 09:20

I’m still waiting for mine too! I’ve emailed in asking about it — lets see if I actually hear from anyone…

----- Kristen 24.09.08 12:56

It took 3-4 months for me to receive my coupon for the free retote. Then I had to go to 3 different Target’s to find one (they all had them back when I sent off for the coupon). But all’s well that end’s well, I finally found it.

----- deanna75 31.07.08 17:55

I just got my coupon in the mail and went to Target to pick up my bag. The bags were nowhere to be seen even though one Target employee remembers putting them out. Then another employee said they had been recalled! That was a lot of work for nothing!

----- Laurie 31.07.08 07:04

I sent my used target bags out for my retote bag when the article was first printed in the newsweek magasine… back i april…. and i am yet to recieve my coupon…. i really wanted this bag!

----- morgan 30.07.08 19:16

The Target Retote was rolled out July 20th in stores and from personal experience these reused/recycled bags hold up exceptionally well. Anyone who has ever shopped at Target knows the original bag is very strong so it only stands to reason that high standards were in place when designing this tote. It may not be the softest but it is very sturdy as well as a conversation piece. I should know, I own one….and I love it.
Thanks Target and to everyone involved in this project. Go GREEN!!!

----- Lynne 26.07.08 16:35

A rep from TerraCycle told me that the coupons are being mailed this week, and the bags will be in Target around end of July.

----- khz 25.07.08 08:52

So I did all the work and brought it to the local post office and watched it go into the truck. Where is my free bag certificate? I don’t even see the bags at Target anymore.
I am worried!
On the bright side a friend just told me about a way to make thes bags myself. Something about putting wax paper inbetween and ironing.

----- Peggy Johnson 20.07.08 16:00

Sent my 3 bags in approx April 17th or 18th. To date I haven’t received the coupon. This is my second e-mail to you regarding this and I also haven’t received a response to the first e-mail which was sent 2 or 3 wks ago.

----- g miller 30.06.08 20:51

You can do something very similar by layering five or six plastic bags, putting a piece of parchment paper on top (NOT wax paper) and ironing over it. The bags melt into each other, creating a really strong piece of plastic fabric that really can only be cut/punctured by something sharp (scissors, pointy objects). Works well for bags, wallets, etc.

----- Henry 08.05.08 13:10

DIY it. there is a tutorial on this at etsy.com

----- Kimberly 08.05.08 10:44

Guess this is why Timbuk2 got the cease & desist.

----- Noah 06.05.08 19:34

I saw Tom Szacky of TerraCycle speak a month or two ago and these bags, while not especially aesthetically pleasing, are made by expending as little new energy as possible. The old target bags aren’t technically even recycled, just reused, as they’re not melted down and then formed into something new, they’re simply pressed together to create sturdier walls.

----- KH 06.05.08 18:37

thats cool it makes me want target even more….

----- carlisa flournoy 05.05.08 17:19

I saw these at Target recently and just wasn’t that impressed with the bags. On the other hand, I was easily talked into a whole foods bag this weekend (having forgotten my baggu) as their cotton bags were marked down to $0.99 (plus the reusable bag discount on my order).

----- rob 05.05.08 14:18

Thanks for the great coverage and kind words! Don’t worry these bags are made from 100% reused bags, collected at various Target locations and through store returns. No brand new bags were harmed in the making of your reTote :o)

----- Albe Zakes 05.05.08 13:44

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