The consortium comprises founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart, as well as joined by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kroger and Walgreens


Hy-Vee has joined Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag to minimise plastic wastage. (Credit: Pete Linforth from Pixabay)

Hy-Vee, an employee-owned supermarket chain with over 275 retail stores across eight US Midwestern states, has joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag as a supporting partner to minimise the plastic waste.

The consortium includes founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart, as well as joined by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kroger and Walgreens.

Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy launched the Consortium and it’s Beyond the Bag Initiative at the starting of this year to identify, test and implement viable design solutions and models to sustainably and better meet the requirement of the current retail bag.

Kroger is the grocery sector lead partner of the consortium that works to establish priorities and provide activities for the initiative within the specific sector.

According to Hy-Vee, single-use plastic bags are one of the top 10 items that are observed on beaches and waterways and are estimated to use 100 billion plastic bags per year in the US.

Consortium introduces global innovation challenge to source solutions to replace the current plastic bag

In August, the consortium launched a global innovation challenge to source solutions for the replacement of current plastic bag, including tech-enabled reuse models, new materials, and software and hardware innovations.

Consortium Partners, including retailers and environmental advisory partners and third-party experts, will assess and select the shortlist and winners.

Winning concepts will secure a portion of $1m in funding, in addition to participating in a Circular Accelerator to receive further support in scaling, and access testing and potential piloting chances.

The initiative also involves suppliers, materials recovery facilities, municipalities, advocacy groups and others to advance viable market solutions that can benefit retailers, customers and end markets.

Hy-Vee supply chain and subsidiaries president and vice chairman Jay Marshall said: “The opportunity to join the Beyond the Bag Initiative and address the shared challenges presented by single-use plastics with some of the largest and most influential retailers in our country is crucial as we remain committed to reducing our environmental impact.

“Through this collaboration, we can truly move the needle on a global waste issue and bring to life some much-needed solutions. We look forward to contributing our knowledge and insights and collectively collaborating with other Consortium Partners to pave the way for a more sustainable future.”

In August this year, UK supermarket chain Morrisons announced plans to eliminate all plastic bags from checkouts and begin trials on a new paper alternative.