Pitching Plastic: Major U.S. Retailers Join Forces for Sustainability

More change is coming to the in-store retail experience: plastic bags are officially on the outs. In late July, Target, Walmart, and CVS jointly unveiled a $15 million collaborative effort to find a replacement for store-provided plastic bags within the next three years. 

In the name of sustainability, the Beyond the Bag Initiative will spark research around new alternative materials (or bagless options) to replace the single-use plastic shopping bag. The efforts, led by Closed Loop Partners, will also study consumers use of bags and the infrastructure that makes and distributes them. 

Currently, American shoppers use about 100 billion plastic bags every year, costing retailers more than $4 billion annually to provide them to shoppers for free. While reusable bag use was on the rise before COVID-19 reverted shoppers to single-use plastic bags, reusable totes may not be considered that much more sustainable than their plastic counterparts—a cotton bag needs to be used between 100 to 7,000 times to match the ecological footprint of a disposable bag. 

The “ideas” phase of the Beyond the Bag Initiative kicks off today, August 3rd, with a global call for inventors and innovators to submit their solutions.

Contributed by: Susan Parsons, Director of Social Media & Content, Integer Denver
Image Source: Pexels