Hy-Vee Inc. has joined the “Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag” as a supporting partner, alongside founding partners CVS Health, Target, and Walmart, and 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” earlier this year with the aim of identifying, testing, and implementing viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag. In June, E+E Leader reported that, collectively, consortium partners have committed more than $15 million to launch this initiative.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned supermarket chain operating more than 275 retail stores across eight Midwestern states. The Kroger Co. is the Grocery Sector Lead Partner of the Consortium, directing priorities and activities for the initiative within the specific sector.
Single-use plastic bags are among the top 10 items found on beaches and waterways, and it’s estimated that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags per year, contributing to a global waste challenge. Current alternatives to the traditional plastic bag can be costly and inconvenient, often trading one environmental issue for another.
This initiative not only brings together major retailers as Consortium Partners, but also engages with stakeholders across the bag value chain, including suppliers, materials recovery facilities, municipalities, advocacy groups, and others to support this collaborative approach. The Consortium will aim to test and launch near-term solutions early on in the initiative, while also continuing to refine longer term solutions to ensure that the industry is designing both for today and tomorrow’s needs. The initiative spans multiple complementary workstreams, spurring innovation, advancing materials recovery through infrastructure investments, identifying best practices for policy, and engaging consumers.