Shoppers can now check out reusable bags at in-store kiosks and return them for fresh ones during their next shopping trip at select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores in New Jersey, thanks to a pilot the retailers are testing with Goatote, a winner of the Beyond the Bag Challenge.
Goatote's reusable bag kiosks are available in stores across Jersey City, Howell Township, Watchung, North Plainfield, Wall Township and Marlton areas. For these pilots, Goatote is partnering with 99Bridges for the technology platform that powers their reusable bag system.
"We're excited to see Goatote and 99Bridges' progress and continued work with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag Partners, such as CVS Health and Target. Their work today builds on the collaboration established through the Consortium, and the collective insights gained from the Beyond the Bag pilots, paving the path forward for more circular bag solutions," said Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. "As the demand for reusable bag alternatives rises, especially amidst recent policy changes and a growing plastic waste crisis, we look forward to seeing continued impact on the ground, as innovators further develop and grow reusable bag solutions."
As an increasing number of policies, including New Jersey's ban on single-use plastic bags, come into effect to help address the global plastic waste crisis, solutions that offer an alternative to the single-use plastic bag continue to gain traction. The rollout of Goatote and 99Bridges' systems in New Jersey helps test and strengthen the viability of reusable bag systems, one critical solution to addressing single-use plastic bag waste.
"Our guests are feeling the growing burden of waste, and that includes single-use plastic retail bags," said Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Target. "Thanks to Beyond the Bag pilot innovators like Goatote, and the collective efforts of this consortium, we're able to build circular capabilities in this space and bring our guests along with us, asking them to help co-create the sustainable and affordable solutions we know we need. We're grateful to continue these important collaborations."
In August 2021, as winners of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag's Beyond the Bag Challenge, Goatote and 99Bridges participated in the Beyond the Bag pilots managed by Closed Loop Partners, with Consortium Founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart. These pilots helped increase collective understanding of the existing enablers of and/or barriers to sustainable design solutions, identifying what resonated most with customers, how customers and employees use reusable bag systems, what provides value to retailers and how innovators' solutions can evolve.
"Testing these new solutions that can replace the single-use plastic retail bag builds on our deep commitment to creating a more sustainable world," said Sheryl Burke, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at CVS Health. "Over the last year, we've worked collaboratively with leading retailers and innovators to pilot these new solutions, and we're excited to bring our customers in New Jersey along on this journey."
Goatote and 99Bridges' rollout in New Jersey builds on their participation in last year's Beyond the Bag pilots, expanding on data points and best practices to help retailers, innovators and customers navigate the changing landscape for retail bags.
"Goatote believes that implementing reusable bag systems in cities, states and countries that have enacted or are anticipating single-use plastic bag bans is critical to delivering ease for consumers while lessening impact on the environment," said Renee Lundahl, co-founder of Goatote. "We are proud to collaborate with leading retailers to advance our reusable bag system on the ground and help make reuse mainstream."
"Together, we are creating a game changing alternative to single-use plastic bags; it marks an exciting milestone to make reuse a reality," said Derek Mak, founder and CEO of 99Bridges. "Consumers will be all over our innovations. 99Bridges is delighted to be a strategic partner of Goatote to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible."