Announcing the Beyond the Bag Challenge Winners

Celebrating 9 ideas that are pushing the boundaries of systems design, technology and material innovation as they reinvent how we get goods home.

The Beyond the Bag Challenge, a critical part of the broader Beyond the Bag Initiative, sought to identify long-term solutions that reimagine how to get goods home from an in-store purchase, from curbside pick-up, and in-home delivery. Over 450 innovators from around the world submitted their ideas on how to reinvent the retail bag.

Winners were chosen through a collective process by a panel of 10 subject matter experts alongside the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag’s Founding Partners, Sector Lead Partners, Environmental Advisory Partners and the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners.

In February 2021, the Consortium announced the nine winners of the Beyond the Bag Challenge: ChicoBag, Domtar, Eon, Fill it Forward, GOATOTE, PlasticFri, Returnity, SmartC and Sway. The winning solutions fall into three categories: Reuse and Refill; Enabling Technology; and Innovative Materials. 

Winners will receive a portion of $1 million in prize money and are eligible for additional financial support to support testing, piloting and scaling efforts. Depending upon the type of solution, they will either be invited to join the Circular Accelerator or begin product testing to hone performance, customer experience, and more. The Consortium will work closely with winning solutions throughout 2021, supporting prototyping, mentoring, and iterative developments toward piloting select solutions in-market.

Explore the nine winning solutions below!

ChicoBag

Category: Reuse and Refill

ChicoBag eliminates a common pain point for consumers: remembering your reusable bag. Their service enables customers to borrow bags on-site as part of the sharing
economy.

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GOATOTE

Category: Reuse and Refill

GOATOTE’s kiosk system allows consumers to access clean, reusable bags anywhere a kiosk is found.

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Returnity

Category: Reuse and Refill

For those who shop online or use pick up services, Returnity designs and manufactures reusable shipping bags and boxes for products already on the market, and provides the e-commerce and delivery packaging system that powers how these bags and boxes are used.

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Eon

Category: Enabling Technology

Eon is a leader in IoT and created the CircularID™ Protocol. It facilitates data-exchange across the circular economy, for a transparent tracking system to understand how bags are being utilized across the value chain.

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Fill it Forward

Category: Enabling Technology

Fill it Forward created a tag and app that connects to the reusable bag consumers already own, allowing them to track environmental impact, earn rewards, and help give nutritious food to people in need.

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SmartC

Category: Enabling Technology

SmartC, a solution co-created by 99Bridges and Envision Charlotte, is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) to incentivize shoppers with rewards in a fun and engaging way every time they reuse their shopping bags.

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Domtar

Category: Innovative Materials

Domtar is developing a new bio-based, recyclable material of 100% cellulose fiber, but with stretchable and more durable properties.

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PlasticFri

Category: Innovative Materials

PlasticFri transforms agricultural waste, non-edible plants and other renewable resources into valuable bio-based products. Their Starch-Based Compostable Bag offers a new bag alternative for consumers.

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Sway

Category: Innovative Materials

Sway creates replacements for traditional plastic derived from seaweed. Their bags are bio-based, compostable, and designed to be carbon-negative.

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