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Look Out for These Surcharges When Shopping at Target and Walmart

June 2, 2023 at 11:00 PM PST

You may want to start checking your receipts if you’re an avid Target and Walmart shopper. The mega-retailers have added surcharges that can fly under shoppers’ radars if you don’t regularly check your receipts. In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, Target and Walmart are phasing out using single-use plastic shopping bags and opting for reusable bags. If you don’t bring your own totes to the shop, you will be charged for bags.

Many states across the United States have banned plastic and single-use bags to cut down on plastic waste and pollution. Walmart has already banned plastic bags in certain states in the country. Customers in New Jersey are now required to pay surcharges on each shopping bag they use. Target has also implemented bag fees. Depending on state laws, shoppers will have to pay bag fees for drive-up and pickup orders.

Bag Fees for Drive-up and Pickup Orders

Target’s bag fees will be based on the state that you live in and the state’s individual mandates. If you place a drive-up or pickup order in a city or state with bag legislation, you will be charged for bags. You will be charged $1 for 10 bags regardless of the order size. While this may not sound like a lot, it can quickly add up if you are a frequent shopper. You will only be refunded for the bags if you pick up your order and don’t need bags. The number of bags you use is adjusted at the time of pickup. The refund amount may take days to reflect in your bag account.

Bring your reusable tote bags to avoid charges when shopping in-store, drive-up, and pickup.

Which States Are Affected?

If you live in a state that has legislation around plastic bag use, you will be affected by Target’s bag fees. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have banned single-use plastic bags: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.

More Than Plastic Bags

In addition to the retailers charging for bags, Target and Walmart charge a fee of between 5 and 10 cents when you purchase certain beverages. You can get a refund for this charge if you bring the empty bottles back to the retailer to be recycled. This stems from a “bottle bill,” which encourages consumers to recycle more and reduce litter. 10 states have variations of this bill: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. Consumers are charged when purchasing sodas, spirits, and malt beverages. The state of Vermont is in talks to also include bottled water, sports drinks, wine, and juices in the bill.

If you live in a state that doesn’t have this bill yet, be on the lookout because unidentified states are in talks to have their own versions of the bottle bill.

While these surcharges may seem to be beneficial to the environment, many think it’s just another way to tax the working class.



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