Activist Santas deliver single-use plastic pollution and a strong message to Target’s headquarters
by Perry Wheeler
December 10, 2019
Minneapolis, MN – A team of activist Santas and elves descended upon Target’s headquarters and flagship store in Minneapolis today (first photos available here). The Greenpeace USA activists delivered two six-foot-tall stockings filled with hundreds of pieces of single-use plastic sold at Targets nationwide and a holiday wish list urging the company to end its reliance on throwaway plastic. The wish list banner was unfurled from the second floor balcony and read, ‘Dear Target, All We Want for Christmas Is: No. More. Single-Use. Plastic. Love, Greenpeace.’
“Customers have petitioned Target, talked with store managers, and asked nicely for action on single-use plastics, but the company has repeatedly ignored these requests,” said Greenpeace USA Plastics Campaigner David Pinsky. “Today, activists are at Target’s headquarters to demand real change and to show that we will not back down until the retailer makes a commitment to urgently reduce its reliance on single-use plastic and move toward reusable or package-free options.”
As the Santas and elves made the holiday delivery, a new rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ echoed through the building, with lyrics including, ‘We wish you were more ambitious/We know that you’ve made commitments/But we want some more specifics/Of how you’ll improve.’ After the protest, the activists passed out hundreds of holiday cookies to the company’s employees, which read, “Do More. Ditch plastic.”
On November 13, Greenpeace activists delivered a petition to Target’s headquarters calling for action on single-use plastics and signed by over 220,000 people. While Target sent a representative down to accept the petition, the company has yet to give any indication that it plans to make meaningful reductions to its single-use plastic footprint.
“As one of the largest retailers nationwide, Target has the potential to transform the fight against single-use plastics if it acts with real ambition,” Pinsky continued. “If Target commits to phase out single-use plastics, it will put pressure on retail giants like Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, and Costco and consumer goods companies like Nestlé and Unilever to act as well.”
In addition to Greenpeace’s campaign for Target to ditch single-use plastic, Minneapolis local Theresa Carter has been advocating for the company to eliminate throwaway plastic bags via a Change.org petition. Carter launched a group called Customers Who Care to inspire the retailer to lead, and has garnered over 450,000 Target customer signatures on her petition.
Greenpeace is urging retailers to show leadership in addressing plastic pollution, and to start by eliminating plastics in their own-brand products and produce. In addition to the impacts to the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine animals, the organization is highlighting that plastic is harming communities across the country from the extraction of oil and gas used to make plastic to its disposal, which includes incineration and landfilling. Petrochemical producers have announced significant expansions of capacity in the U.S., with over $180 billion of investments that could lock the world into decades of increased plastic use.
“By acting on plastics, retailers like Target can deal a significant blow to fossil fuel companies, help reduce plastic pollution, and address the climate crisis,” added Pinsky.
The first photos from today’s activity will be available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/
All of the photos and video will be featured here shortly: https://media.greenpeace.org/
**Interviews are available by request with Greenpeace spokespeople in Minneapolis.**
Contact: Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: 301-675-8766