MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A team of Target shoppers delivered a petition with 459,000 signatures to the company’s Minneapolis headquarters Thursday morning. The petition, created by Theresa Carter, demands the company takes immediate action to eliminate the use of plastic bags for customers’ purchases.

“Target, with its 1850 stores, this would be a wonderful step. Definitely they could be a leader,” Carter said.

READ MORE: COVID In MN: Case Growth Rate Decreasing, Along With Virus Levels In Metro Wastewater

A company representative received the petitions and carted the boxes inside.

“We are just hoping that you will listen to our petition to get rid of plastic bags at your stores, because it would be such an important step to address plastic pollution,” said Carter.

(credit: CBS)

Target later released a statement, saying in part it is “working to eliminate, reduce and find alternatives for our plastics in our products, packaging and operations.”

READ MORE: Texas Public Safety Officials Give Update To Uvalde School Shooting (CBS News)

About one-hundred billion plastic bags are used by American consumers each year. Many of them end up littering streets, neighborhoods and waterways, carried by the slightest breeze. Aquatic biologists fear the damage done to sea life fish ingest plastic bags.

The state of California currently charges consumers a 30-cent tax on each plastic bag. Beginning Jan. 1, Minneapolis shoppers will begin paying a nickel per plastic bag.

“It’s a good start, but it’s not big enough incentive to get people to start using reusable bags,” said Luke Painter, a Target shopper.

“The damage we do to the environment now has to be cleaned up by them and so a little change we make right now will help them in the future,” said Peter Kirwin. He’s worried for his son Jamie’s generation, fearing the damage which plastic bags are causing the environment.

MORE NEWS: Police: Richfield H.S. Student Voluntarily Comes Forward After A Threat Cancels Classes

Target sells reusable fabric shopping bags for 99 cents.