Celebrating America Recycles Week


Today on America Recycles Day, Kohl’s is reflecting on our commitment to incorporating sustainable solutions in the way we do business to help build better futures for families. Sustainability is proudly woven into our company purpose and culture and these initiatives are part of Kohl’s broader Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy, which includes taking care of people, communities, and our planet.

Our Commitment  to Sustainability Goals 
In 2019, Kohl's published sustainability goals, which included quantitative targets focused on three key areas: climate action, waste and recycling, and sustainable sourcing. With such a large retail footprint, Kohl’s is in a unique position to make resounding impacts on the planet, especially in areas such as waste management, and we have set goals and policies to ensure that impact is positive. Our waste and recycling goals are focused on the management of all wastes, reducing waste generation and promoting relevant recycling information to customers.

A Look at the Progress We’ve Made 
Looking back over the past few years, Kohl’s made strong progress on these goals, including: 

  • EPA WasteWise Partner: Kohl’s has been a voluntary partner and active participant of the EPA WasteWise program since 2006 and has earned multiple WasteWise awards.
  • Industry Leading Diversion Rate*: In 2020, Kohl’s achieved an 85% diversion rate through initiatives including plastic and cardboard recycling, paperless billing, and beauty product and fabric scrap repurposing. Kohl’s recycled more than 110,000 tons (220 million pounds) of material, including more than 4 million pounds of plastic and 199 million pounds of cardboard.
  • How2Recycle® Member: As an active member of How2Recycle®, we empower our customers to recycle our packaging correctly. 95% of shipping bags and boxes, 100% of in-store shopping bags and 100% of Kohl’s private branded shoe boxes now incorporate the label. 
  • Plastic Reduction: We significantly reduced the availability to purchase plastic water bottles at corporate and credit food-service locations. 

Collaborating With Customers to Drive Further Change
Collaboration with our customers helps to drive change and reduce our environmental impact even further. Here are a few easy ways customers can help support sustainable solutions:

  • Giving Plastic a Second Life: When a customer leaves our store, the bags they’re holding are made from 30-50% recycled, unbleached plastic. Customers can also drop old plastic bags in the in-store recycling bins and leave their hangers with us to reuse and recycle. 
  • Going Paperless: All customers can opt in to receiving e-receipts when they shop in store at Kohl’s and card holders can opt in to receiving paperless billing statements. To learn how to opt in to paperless billing visit kohls.com.
  • Reducing Plastic: We made it even easier for customers to cut back on their plastic waste by offering reusable bags for sale in all stores. Our stores in select markets have eliminated the use of plastic bags at checkout and now offer paper bags. While our plastic bags are fully recyclable through our store take-back program, paper bags can be recycled in customers’ curbside bins.
  • How2Recycle® Resources: Kohl’s customers may spot this label on select Kohl’s packaging, making it easier and clearer to determine its recyclability.

Additional information about Kohl’s ESG efforts and commitment to sustainability can be found on our Environmental Sustainability page

*Waste diversion during 2020 was significantly lower than a typical year since COVID-19 disruptions resulted in temporary building closures and reduced occupancy for much of the year.