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Major Retailers Partner To Find Alternatives To Plastic Bags

Major retailers in the U.S. are joining hands to find alternative solutions to single-use plastic retail bags and tackle the retail bag waste.

Investment firm Closed Loop Partners said that along with CVS Health Corp., Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. as founding partners, it is forming the "Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag".

Collectively, the consortium partners have committed more than $15 million to launch the 'Beyond the Bag' Initiative. Kroger Co. and Walgreens have also joined the group.

With funding from Walmart, Target and CVS Health, the three-year initiative aims to test, identify and implement viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current plastic retail bag.

Closed Loop noted that the global risks from climate change, the global pandemic and mounting plastic waste have revealed the vulnerabilities of the current system. The 'Beyond the Bag' Initiative is a joint effort by the retailers to drive long-term, transformational thinking to address the complex global waste challenge.

Studies have shown that more than 100 billion single-use plastic retail bags are used in the U.S. every year, and less than 10 percent of these are recycled. Every year, plastic retail bags are among the top 10 items found on beaches and waterways worldwide.

Closed Loop Partners said the consortium is inviting inventors and innovators from around the world to submit their solutions to the 'Beyond the Bag Challenge', which will be launched in partnership with global design firm IDEO on August 3.

Closed Loop Partners will launch a Circular Accelerator, develop potential piloting opportunities and make infrastructure investments to help the development of market-ready solutions, with an initial focus on implementation in the U.S.

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