Target Joins Walmart in Charging for Bags and Customers Are Furious

Updated: Apr. 05, 2023

It takes decades (sometimes centuries) for a single-use plastic bag to decompose, so Target decided to take a stand.

It seems our favorite red bulls-eye store is making some changes to save the planet. After major retailers like Walmart and Kroger eliminated plastic bags, Target decided to take a page from the book.

Target recently announced that they will be automatically charging for plastic bags for Drive Up and Order Pickup orders—and customers are taking to platforms like Twitter and Reddit to express their distaste for this recent decision, some even threatening to never shop at Target again. So how much does Target charge for bags?

Thankfully, this charge is only happening for Target pickup orders, meaning in-store runs won’t be affected by this new charging system. If you make an online purchase for pickup, the charge will be added to your final invoice. While there is the option to deny bags at the time of pickup, Target will automatically assume that if you are ordering online, you are agreeing to the additional charge and the use of plastic bags. Unless your state or city has banned the use of plastic bags already, of course.

How Much Does Target Charge for Bags?

According to Target’s new policy, Drive Up and Order Pickup customers will be charged $1 per every 10 bags used—which equates to about 10 cents per bag. If a customer uses less than 10 bags for an order, the amount will be properly adjusted.

If you are ordering via Target’s app, the charge may not show up on your receipt via the app. However, the final invoice will reflect the surcharge, as well as any applicable refund if you’re using less than 10 bags with your purchase.

Now this will differentiate based on state and local laws—particularly for states who have already banned the use of plastic bags at stores already. For example, New York state issued a statewide plastic bag ban and allows counties to impose a 5-cent fee for paper bag use at stores. Big stores such as Target will actually sell reusable bags at checkout in case customers forgot to bring their own.

Other states may not have a statewide ban but do have local laws—particularly within cities. For example, Minneapolis and Duluth invoked a 5-cent charge for plastic bags back in 2020, while the rest of the state does not require a charge.

So if you are in a state that still allows the use of plastic bags and you tend to order for pickup at Target, you’ll want to keep this charge in mind next time you open your Target app.

How Can I Avoid the Charge?

Young Girl Watches Cashier bag groceries at a target storeJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Thankfully, Target does offer a solution so you can avoid a charge every time you order for pickup. Customers are given the option at the time of pickup to decline using plastic bags. There is, unfortunately, no option on the app to decline using bags when you order.

While your original receipt may reflect a surcharge at first, Target will issue a refund if you don’t use any plastic bags (but warning, this could take days to process). Just be sure to bring a few reusable grocery bags with you when you go to pick up your order.

This charge is also for pickup orders, not for in-store purchases. So if you like to actually make a Target run and get lost in Bullseye’s Playground, and you live in a state or city that does not currently have a plastic bag ban or surcharge, you should be good to go.

However, if you do live in a place that has a citywide or statewide law, you may want to bring those reusable bags to save you from all that trouble.