Closed Loop Partners Collaborates with PepsiCo, the NextGen Consortium & Other Leading Brands to Advance Composting Infrastructure & Recover Compostable Packaging and Food Scraps

By Closed Loop Partners

November 09, 2021

The new Composting Consortium aims to pilot industry-wide solutions and build a roadmap for investment in technologies and infrastructure to address the growth in production of compostable food packaging

 

NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2021 — Today, the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners announced the launch of the Composting Consortium, together with Founding Partners PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium. PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium, which is composed of Starbucks, McDonald’s and other foodservice brands, are joined by Supporting Partners Colgate-Palmolive, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation, as well as Industry Partners the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact. The Consortium brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to identify the best path forward to increase the recovery of compostable food packaging and drive toward circular outcomes.

These key stakeholders are uniting at a critical time as the landscape around compostable packaging and composting infrastructure rapidly evolves. Currently, the demand for alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based single-use plastic packaging is rising, and the market for compostable packaging is poised to grow 17% annually between 2020 and 20271. Compostable packaging presents potential environmental, economic and social benefits, diverting food packaging and food scraps within the packaging toward composting infrastructure, and mitigating the greenhouse gases emitted when these otherwise end up in landfill. To meet the growth in compostable packaging, there needs to be more widely available composting infrastructure to fully recover the value of these materials.

The Composting Consortium recognizes the current challenges in this growing packaging sector and calls for unity and clarity across stakeholders. New compostable materials need to be researched with diligence and deployed strategically as one line of defense against waste. There is no quick fix to a complex global waste challenge, and the Consortium looks to chart a clear pathway forward for the industry.

The Consortium will work across multiple workstreams to identify best practices for consumer understanding of compostable packaging labeling and collection; establish when compostable versus reusable or recyclable packaging applications are most appropriate; collaborate on best practices to inform policy making; and build an investment roadmap for expanding composting infrastructure to recover compostable packaging and food scraps. It brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to increase the recovery of valuable resources otherwise lost to landfill. Consortium Advisory Partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Google, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), TIPA Corp Ltd., University College London and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“With current market forces and environmental challenges driving the growth of compostable packaging, there has never been a more critical time to collectively advance labeling, testing and infrastructure investments related to the recovery of compostable food packaging and food scraps,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “We’re excited to work together with leading brands and retailers, including PepsiCo and the partners of the NextGen Consortium, as well as the entire composting value chain––from global brands to composters and packaging manufacturers––to accelerate much-needed solutions.”

“Knowing how important packaging is––to protect the safety, quality and freshness of our products, extend their shelf life and limit food waste––we understand how critical it is to advance holistic solutions that prevent packaging from becoming waste. Building on our initiatives to improve the circularity of compostable packaging, we are thrilled to work toward this goal as a Founding Partner of the Composting Consortium,” says Burgess Davis, VP Global Sustainable Packaging and Sustainability Strategy at PepsiCo. “This unprecedented collaboration with the NextGen Consortium and leading foodservice and consumer goods brands can forge a clear path forward for compostable packaging, strengthening it as a viable alternative to plastics and preventing it from going to waste.”

“There is increasing awareness of the climate risks posed by food scraps being wasted in landfills, alongside the challenges of waste from packaging that is not getting recycled. This is driving broad support for a change to the status quo, including a desire for widespread access to composting and innovative compostable packaging that can be composted with the food,” noted Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute. “Collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders is critical, which the Composting Consortium brings together so we can make quick progress.”

About the Composting Consortium
The Composting Consortium is a multi-year collaboration across the entire value chain to pilot industry-wide solutions and build a roadmap for investment in technologies and infrastructure that enable the recovery of compostable food packaging and food scraps. The Composting Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy. PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium are founding partners of the Consortium. Hill’s Pet Nutrition parent company Colgate-Palmolive, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation joined as supporting partners, and the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact joined as industry partners. Our advisory partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Google, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), TIPA Corp Ltd., University College London and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Learn more about the Consortium here.

About the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center. In 2018, Closed Loop Partners launched its innovation center, the Center for the Circular Economy, which unites competitors to tackle complex material challenges and to implement systemic change that advances the circular economy. Closed Loop Partners brings together designers, manufacturers, recovery systems operators, trade organizations, municipalities, policymakers and NGOs to create, invest in, and support scalable innovations that target big system problems. Learn more about the Center’s work here.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. PepsiCo recently introduced pep+ (pep Positive), a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of how the company will create growth and value by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About the NextGen Consortium
The NextGen Consortium is a multi-year consortium that addresses single-use food packaging waste globally by advancing the design, commercialization and recovery of food packaging alternatives. The NextGen Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy. Starbucks and McDonald’s are the founding partners of the Consortium, with The Coca-Cola Company joining as a sector lead partner. JDE Peet’s, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands are supporting partners. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the environmental advisory partner. Learn more at www.nextgenconsortium.com.

Starbucks and McDonald’s Deploy Additional $10 Million with NextGen Consortium to Accelerate the Circularity of Foodservice Packaging & Address Urgent Waste Challenge

By

October 20, 2021

The Consortium expands its work to advance reusable packaging systems, strengthen recycling and composting infrastructure and scale foodservice packaging innovation

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2021 — Today, Closed Loop Partners announced an additional $10 million commitment from the NextGen Consortium‘s Founding Partners, Starbucks and McDonald’s, to continue the Consortium’s work: identifying, accelerating and scaling commercially viable, circular foodservice packaging solutions. The Coca-Cola Company increased its commitment to now participate as a Sector Lead Partner, paving the way for sustainable packaging solutions for its broad customer base. JDE Peet’s, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands will continue their participation as Supporting Partners in the Consortium, and the Consortium continues to invite other brands to join the effort.

Since 2018, the NextGen Consortium has made significant headway in advancing sustainable packaging innovation and recycling infrastructure to help end foodservice packaging waste, with an initial focus on redesigning the single-use hot and cold fiber cup. The Consortium’s NextGen Cup Challenge sourced 480 solutions globally to redesign the cup, selecting 12 winning solutions across three areas: innovative cup & cup liners, new materials, and reusable cup service models. Following the Challenge, the Consortium has continued to advance the development of innovative cup and cup liner innovations, and the Consortium’s Circular Business Accelerator supported six early-stage teams to help test and refine their solutions.

In 2019 and 2020, Accelerator teams executed on-the-ground tests at a large tech company’s campus with four solutions, including two reusable systems, moving to the pilot phase across 14 local, independent cafes in the San Francisco Bay area. These solutions received valuable feedback from customers, restaurants and other key stakeholders. Drawing on insights from those pilots, the Consortium released a first-of-its-kind report, Bringing Reusable Packaging Systems to Life, sharing a blueprint and open-source resource to encourage collaboration and the growth of reuse models. The Consortium also continued its work across the broader foodservice packaging value chain, conducting dozens of lab- and commercial-scale tests with recyclers, material test labs and paper mills to evaluate the performance, recyclability and recoverability of the fiber cup solutions. As part of this work, the Consortium collaborates with paper mills, recycling facilities and municipalities to expand recycling access and recovery of fiber cups as well as NextGen cups.

“Through NextGen, we’ve made great progress in growing more sustainable packaging solutions, and there is a lot more work to be done. Faced with increasing climate risks, eco-conscious customers and a resource-constrained world, the foodservice industry must double down on its efforts and band together to strategically tackle the mounting waste challenge,” said Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “Starbucks, McDonald’s and other partners in the Consortium make clear their commitment to collaboratively accelerate more circular foodservice packaging solutions, and we encourage stakeholders––from packaging manufacturers to recyclers to designers––to join us in advancing NextGen solutions.” 

With the additional $10 million in funding, the Consortium will expand its efforts, including and beyond the fiber cup, to strengthen the sustainable packaging ecosystem. The Consortium will deepen its customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems, explore the circularity of additional packaging materials such as polypropylene (PP), and accelerate the development of more widely recyclable and compostable fiber-based packaging solutions, as well as the infrastructure pathways needed for their recovery. The Consortium’s increased focus on PP is driven by the growing demand for recycled PP in foodservice packaging, and the need to optimize recycling infrastructure to capture the material. With its additional focus on polypropylene, in 2020, the Consortium joined The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition as a Steering Committee member, collaborating to allocate millions of dollars in grants to recycling facilities to improve polypropylene recycling.

“Starbucks’ work with the NextGen Consortium has been an important part of our ongoing efforts to reduce single use cup waste, part of our larger goal to reduce waste sent to landfills by 50% by 2030,” said Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer at Starbucks. “There has never been a more critical time for industry collaboration to shift away from single-use packaging, promote reusability, and champion recyclability. We are thrilled to continue our work with the NextGen Consortium to drive sustainable solutions for our planet.”

“Over the last three years, the NextGen Consortium has demonstrated that working together as an industry helps accelerate sustainable change, and is paving a clear pathway forward for the industry to scale packaging solutions that can benefit the planet and the communities we serve,” said Marion Gross, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at McDonald’s North America. “Knowing that industry-wide collaboration is essential to creating lasting, scalable impact, we invite others to join us in this important work to advance solutions and eliminate packaging waste.”

Individual waste mitigation efforts by Founding Partners Starbucks and McDonald’s further bolster the Consortium’s work to accelerate sustainable packaging innovation, foster more robust recovery opportunities for packaging, and develop, enhance and optimize emerging reuse models. Starbucks continues to innovate to encourage the use of personal reusable cups in stores, most recently in partnership with Ocean Conservancy, and will continue to test and learn from programs geared toward reducing single-use cups around the world. McDonald’s has also made strides toward reuse, partnering with TerraCycle’s Loop platform to pilot reusable cups in the brand’s UK stores, and continues to make tremendous progress in ensuring its packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources.

“Getting to a circular economy will require every community, organization and industry to be involved in making it a reality. The food & beverage industry touches all people, and so the need for more sustainable packaging for our customers is a top priority,” said Alpa Sutaria, General Manager, Sustainability, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company. “We are proud not only to continue our work with the NextGen Consortium, but to increase our commitment, now as a Sector Lead Partner. We invite others to join us in this effort to strengthen and scale circular solutions for packaging.”

“With approximately 11 million metric tons of plastic waste ending up in our oceans every year, we need to bring circular packaging solutions to the table. We know that to tackle this massive, shared challenge, all stakeholders have to be involved,” said Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste + Business at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF is an environmental advisory partner for the Consortium. “The NextGen Consortium can play an important role in catalyzing the collaboration we need by enabling cross-sector partnerships and open-source insight sharing, and we are proud to be a partner in this important work.”

Moving forward, even greater collaboration among businesses, industry groups, nonprofits and others will be needed to solve systemic waste challenges. Through the expanded commitment of the NextGen Consortium, the multi-year collaboration will continue to work across the value chain––with global brands, municipalities, NGOs, recyclers and manufacturers––to advance viable market solutions that scale throughout the supply chain and bring value to recovery systems.

About the NextGen Consortium

The NextGen Consortium is a multi-year consortium that addresses single-use food packaging waste globally by advancing the design, commercialization, and recovery of food packaging alternatives. The NextGen Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy. Starbucks and McDonald’s are the founding partners of the Consortium, with The Coca-Cola Company joining as a sector lead partner. JDE Peet’s, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands are supporting partners. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the environmental advisory partner. Learn more at www.nextgenconsortium.com.

About the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center. In 2018, Closed Loop Partners launched its innovation center, the Center for the Circular Economy, which unites competitors to tackle complex material challenges and to implement systemic change that advances the circular economy. Closed Loop Partners brings together designers, manufacturers, recovery systems operators, trade organizations, municipalities, policymakers and NGOs to create, invest in, and support scalable innovations that target big system problems. Learn more about the Center’s work here.

Winners of The Reusies™ Announced by Upstream and Closed Loop Partners

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October 01, 2021

Inaugural National Reuse Awards show, hosted by TV personality and science communicator Danni Washington, celebrated four heroes of the Reuse Movement

Last night four heroes of the reuse movement were announced as winners of the National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies) among an audience of policymakers, investors, corporate and NGO leaders, and other influential attendees working towards a world without waste. The virtual awards show was presented by Upstream, a non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, a circular economy-focused investment firm and innovation center.

“Never has recognition of heroes in the reuse movement been more crucial as we experience the multiple effects of climate change and plastic pollution in the air, on land and in our oceans,” said Matt Prindiville, CEO and Chief Solutioneer at Upstream. “The recipients of The Reusies are true trailblazers and game-changing innovators of the growing reuse economy. In the not-too-distant future, our hope is that the leaders we’re honoring today will have scaled reuse systems and passed policies in communities throughout the world that make it possible to get what we want and need without the waste.”

Recipients of The Reusies accepted their honor during a one-hour event hosted by TV personality and science communicator Danni Washington. The winners are:

  • Activist of the Year: Crystal Dreisbach

    Crystal founded Don’t Waste Durham and has since created GreenToGo, Bull City Boomerang Bag, and The ReCirculation Project. She helps lead their policy work on bags and serviceware and, in 2020, co-founded the Reuse Systems Alliance made up of 35+ reuse companies around the world. Crystal uses her activist platform to build awareness and catalyze action by running workshops and giving talks to a wide range of audiences. “Change is made by demonstrating that new, better ways are possible!”

  • Fan Favorite Reuse Company (which was based 100% on public vote): Plaine Products

    Plaine Products is working to make the world less trashy with its reusable aluminum containers for hair and body care products. The bottles are made to be durable so they’re not damaged when customers ship them for refilling. They’re also easily cleaned so they’re safe to use multiple times over.

  • Most Impactful Community Leadership: Reusable LA

    Reusable LA is a coalition of organizations working to reduce plastic pollution in Los Angeles to safeguard public health, communities, and the environment. They use legislative advocacy, outreach, and community engagement to promote reuse and refill in Los Angeles and to reduce waste from single-use plastic products and packaging. Reusable LA has taken a leadership role in promoting reusables through policy advocacy with campaigns like #SkiptheStuff and ensures its tools and resources reach LA’s diverse communities.

  • Most Innovative Reuse Company: Rheaply

    A leader in the circular economy, Rheaply is a Chicago-based technology company that enables organizations to share and manage underutilized inventory in a more cost-efficient, collaborative, and connected manner. With Rheaply’s Asset Exchange Manager (AxM)TM, organizations can gain transparency about and re-utilize available assets, reducing procurement & storage costs, and avoiding unnecessary waste.

 

Added Bridget Croke, managing director at Closed Loop Partners: “Scaling reuse systems is critical if we are to address the mounting global waste challenge. The winners of The Reusies demonstrate how individuals and organizations are paving a better pathway forward, working to protect our precious planet by keeping valuable materials in play and out of landfills and the environment.”

The awards were interspersed with thought leadership panels, moderated by Washington, discussing the importance of advancing a more circular economy that included Prindiville and Croke, alongside visual artist and activist Benjamin Von Wong and  Fast Company senior staff writer Elizabeth Segran.

The inaugural show also featured a performance by singer Kori Withers, followed by a virtual party and networking reception for VIPs (“Very Important Protectors” of the planet). For those who could not attend and would like to view bonus footage of the evening’s panels, go to Upstream’s YouTube channel. You can learn more about all the finalists and what was featured in the show by visiting The Reusies official event program. There will also be an episode on The Indisposable Podcast with the full panel discussion in the future; to sign up to receive more information, visit https://upstreamsolutions.org/sign-up.

“The simple fact is that the planet is our spaceship. If we can reconnect people back to the planet, back to earth, back to nature, and see the importance of shifting out of this mode of extinction and wasteful practices, that reconnection will invigorate the reuse movement even more,” commented Washington.

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About Upstream: 

Upstream is an environmental non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution by helping people, businesses and communities shift from single-use to reuse. The organization’s first-ever National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies), will took place virtually on September 30.To learn more about all Upstream programs, visit www.upstreamsolutions.org and follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

About Closed Loop Partners:

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions, and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy.

Nation’s Largest Project to Modernize Recycling Collection Launched in Baltimore

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September 30, 2021

Funded by a groundbreaking public-private partnership, the project advances safer, more efficient, and equitable recycling access for nearly 200,000 Baltimore households

BALTIMORE (Sept. 30, 2021) – The City of Baltimore today launched delivery of nearly 200,000 curbside recycling carts, a $10 million-plus project estimated to increase recycling output per household by 80% and generate as much as 40 million pounds of new recyclables each year. The initiative to bring equitable curbside recycling access to the City’s 609,000 residents was made possible by a groundbreaking collaboration brought together by The Recycling Partnership, with the American Beverage Association’s Every Bottle Back initiative, Closed Loop Partners, Dow, the Baltimore Civic Fund, and Rehrig Pacific. The program will also help collect and recycle nearly 30 million new pounds of plastic over 10 years, including 16 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly found in beverage bottles, that might otherwise have gone to waste.

This innovative public-private partnership includes a $3.6 million investment from The Recycling Partnership, consisting of $1.65 million from the beverage industry, a plastic resin donation for recycling carts from Dow, and large, lidded rollout recycling carts manufactured by Rehrig Pacific. This is bolstered by a $3 million investment from Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, which finances projects that grow and strengthen recycling and circular economy infrastructure in the United States. This first of its kind collaboration will help Baltimore provide free, larger recycling carts to nearly 200,000 households to collect and process more recyclable materials, including beverage bottles and cans. As part of the effort, the city will launch a recycling education campaign to inform the public about the new recycling carts and what can and cannot be recycled.

“Making Baltimore more sustainable through diverting waste from our landfills and incineration is key as we lay the groundwork for future generations,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “By providing our residents with the proper resources and education thanks to this partnership, I know that more Baltimore households will do their part to reduce waste and recycle.”

“This unique public-private partnership has culminated in The Recycling Partnership’s largest recycling grant to date, providing an innovative solution that will meaningfully increase recycling rates and serve as a model for other cities,” said Cody Marshall, Chief of Community Strategy at The Recycling Partnership. “Cart-based recycling collection is a foundational element to any community’s recycling and sustainability program. Providing curbside recycling carts to all households makes waste diversion convenient for all while streamlining program operations – the definition of resiliency and sustainability.”

“The beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initative seeks to achieve a truly circular economy for our 100% recyclable bottles through innovative public-private partnerships that improve recycling infrastructure and education in key regions of the country,” said Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association.  “Our collaboration in Baltimore ensures equitable access to recycling and that valuable materials, like our beverage bottles, are collected and remade into new bottles as intended keeping plastic out of the environment.”

Launched in 2019 by the American Beverage Association, Every Bottle Back is an unprecedented initiative to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by increasing the number of bottles collected and remade into new ones. Every Bottle Back brings together The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and PepsiCo with leading environmental and sustainability organizations – World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners, and The Recycling Partnership – to support the circular plastics economy.

“This marks a significant milestone in our collective work with the City of Baltimore and other key stakeholders ––proving what is made possible through meaningful collaboration. Strengthening the City’s local recycling system lays the groundwork for improved recycling rates, and ultimately, reduces the amount of valuable materials going to landfill or into nature,” says Ron Gonen, Founder & CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “We are proud to be a part of this groudbreaking partnership, and look forward to our continued work to advance more resilient and accessible recycling infrastructure across the United States.”

The City’s transition to automated recycling collection, a process that does not require collection staff to leave the truck’s cab, with larger, lidded recycling carts enables safer and more efficient collection, reduces the amount of manual labor needed, helps to prevent injury to collection staff, and ensures continuity of service during labor shortages, while minimizing waste in waterways and providing residents with increased storage capacity for their recyclables at the same time.

Baltimore’s Department of Public Works has called it a game-changer for the City’s waste diversion plan and the foundation for a brighter, cleaner Baltimore for generations to come. The delivery of free recycling carts is one of the key recommendations in the city’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Planwhich identified options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal.

“The Department of Public Works is excited to support this new initiative to increase recycling and waste diversion in Baltimore City,”said Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Jason W. Mitchell. “We are grateful for the Mayor’s vision of a cleaner and more equitable Baltimore and the collaboration between Baltimore Civic Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to make this a reality for the residents of our city. Essential to this critical partnership is the education component, which provides residents with helpful tips on proper recycling.”

As the new recycling carts are made from plastic resin, the roll-out of recycling carts to all Baltimore households would not have been possible without the generous donation of plastic resin from Dow or cart production by Rehrig Pacific, contributions that reduced the city’s infrastructure investment needs.

The Recycling Partnership’s recent Paying It Forward report shows that 40% of Americans don’t have equitable access to recycling and this project’s collaborative solution accelerates closing that gap for the eighth-largest city in the United States without universal cart recycling access, a key driver in the city launching its ambitious zero-waste goal.

“This collaboration will be a critical step in creating a more sustainable and circular community in Baltimore,” said Diego Donoso, president, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “I hope this project is just the beginning of future collaborations to bring improved recycling infrastructure across this country.”

“It’s exciting when our expertise and a city’s need align so perfectly,” said Marc Scott, Vice President of Environmental at Rehrig Pacific. “Sustainability is truly at the core of this company, and our ability to manufacture these carts from post-consumer content was an ideal solution to help the City of Baltimore continue as a leader in sustainability and innovation. Making a difference in communities while bringing sustainable manufacturing solutions to our partners is what brings real value in our line of work.”

Baltimore expects the delivery of recycling carts to be completed in early 2022.

 

About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is the action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good. Our team operates at every level of the recycling value chain and works on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain, from working with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet climate and sustainability goals, to working with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of the U.S. recycling system, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org.

About the American Beverage Associations’ Every Bottle Back initiative:

The Every Bottle Back initiative is an integrated and comprehensive initiative by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, alongside sustainability leaders Closed Loop Partners, The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund, designed to improve plastics circularity.These efforts support individual sustainability commitments undertaken by The Coca-Cola CompanyKeurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo.

Learn more about Every Bottle Back at www.EveryBottleBack.org.

About Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions, and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

About Rehrig Pacific

Founded in 1913, Rehrig Pacific’s products and solutions create value for their customers’ products and ideas as they move throughout the global supply chain. The company’s proven success comes from focusing on the needs of its customers’ customer, integrating technology to eliminate waste, enhancing the consumer experience, continually delivering solutions that are simple and easy to implement, and providing ideas that are driven by a relentless commitment to sustainability. Learn more at www.RehrigPacific.com.

About The Baltimore Civic Fund

As the fiscal sponsor for the City of Baltimore, the Baltimore Civic Fund serves as the financial backbone for public-private partnerships between innovative City programs and the philanthropic community. In this role, the Civic Fund manages $12 million annually for more than 125 City programs that promote business and economic development, culture and the creative economy, job growth, and more. Working alongside the Mayor of Baltimore and City leadership, the Civic Fund strives to serve as a hub for connection and coordination between the City of Baltimore and the philanthropic community, helping to realize a vision of an inclusive city where all Baltimore residents prosper.

 

Featured Photo: Mayor Brandon M. Scott delivering recycling carts in Baltimore. Photographer: Danielle Smotkin, American Beverage Association

 

Upstream and Closed Loop Partners Announce Nominees of Inaugural National Reuse Awards

By

August 17, 2021

The Reusies: Virtual awards show for Reuse Movement in the U.S. celebrates heroes of a world without waste on September 30 ─

NEW YORKAug. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Upstream, a non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution, today announced the nominees of the first-ever virtual National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies), which will take place Thursday, September 30. Presented in partnership with circular economy-focused investment firm and innovation center, Closed Loop Partners, the awards show will be hosted by TV personality and science communicator Danni Washington and celebrate the heroes of reuse.

Tickets to attend the event and sponsorship honoring Most Innovative Reuse CompanyActivist of the YearFan Favorite Reuse Company, and Most Impactful Community Leadership are available as of today. The final winners will be announced during the show.

“The Reusies is a celebration of pioneers and innovators in the growing reuse economy,” said Matt Prindiville, CEO at Upstream. “The individuals and organizations we’re recognizing are launching innovative ideas to protect the planet. They’re charting a future to get what we want and need without all the waste.”

The nominees for Most Innovative Reuse Company are: AlgramoRheaply, and TURN.

The nominees for the remaining three categories are:

 

Award winners (except Fan Favorite Reuse Company) will be selected by a combined panel of judges and public voting. Judges include:

 

Added Kate Daly, managing director at Closed Loop Partners, on why they chose to be a presenting partner: “Reuse is vital in addressing the global waste challenge. We’re joining forces with Upstream to bring attention to the incredible ecosystem of innovators working toward a circular future. This builds on our existing work, as we research, test and invest in solutions that keep valuable materials in circulation longer.”

The event will be emceed by Danni Washington and streamed online on Thursday, September 30 at 4:00PM PT / 7:00PM ET and include performances by singer Kori Withers, video montages, award presentations, and a panel discussion on why reuse wins for the environment and economy through innovation and entrepreneurship. There will also be a live VIP session immediately after the show with speed networking in online breakout rooms.

Tickets are now available at www.TheReusies.org at an early-bird price of $10 for general admission (one screen) through August 31 (after that, general admission ticket cost will increase to $25). VIP Tables (which include 10 screens, access to the VIP after show and other perks) are available at $2,500. Category-exclusive sponsorship and brand integrations are also available. For more information, email [email protected] or visit the event website. For press inquiries contact Jen Maguire[email protected]; social: #TheReusies @Upstream_org @LoopFund.

SOURCE Upstream

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Ulta Beauty Joins the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag

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July 28, 2021

The nation’s largest beauty retailer joins leading retailers across grocery, home goods, sports and apparel, to help combat plastic bag waste  

Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA), the leading beauty retailer in the U.S., joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag as the Beauty Sector Lead Partner, working alongside 13 leading retailers, including Founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart. The Consortium, through its Beyond the Bag Initiative, aims to identify, test and implement viable design solutions that more sustainably serve the purpose of the single-use plastic retail bag.

“Ulta Beauty represents a critical sector that must be at the table as the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag identifies and tests the viability of innovative solutions to replace the single-use plastic bag,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “With the important addition of Ulta Beauty, an established leader, we can expand our reach even further, paving the way for a more sustainable retail industry, at scale.”

The Consortium, managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy, spans multiple work streams with the goal of replacing current retail bags by fueling design innovation, advancing materials recovery and identifying best practices for policy and engaging consumers. As the Consortium’s Beauty Sector Lead Partner, Ulta Beauty will direct priorities and activities for the Beyond the Bag Initiative in the context of beauty retail. With more than 1,250 stores across 50 U.S. states, the retailer will work with Consortium Partners to explore viable alternatives to the single-use plastic bag and recommend applications that align with the sector’s needs and existing operations. Ulta Beauty is committed to bringing leading solutions to the industry as the company works to create a lasting, positive legacy on our environment and world.

The Beyond the Bag 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 collectively promote viable market solutions that can scale, and bring value to retailers, customers and end markets. The Consortium takes a holistic three-year approach to identify and scale affordable, accessible and less wasteful solutions. It will aim to test current innovations, and advance long-term solutions to ensure that the industry is designing both for today and tomorrow’s needs.

Unique Public-Private Partnership to Modernize Baltimore’s Recycling Collection and Infrastructure

By

June 23, 2021

Investment and collaboration will make recycling safer, more accessible, and bring the City of Baltimore closer to Zero Waste

(June 23, 2021) The City of Baltimore announced today a groundbreaking collaboration brought together by The Recycling Partnership, with American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative, Closed Loop Partners, Dow Packing & Specialty Plastics, the Baltimore Civic Fund, and Rehrig Pacific that will greatly expand Baltimore residents’ access to safe, effective recycling and improved collection infrastructure.This innovative public-private partnership supports a $9.5 million project, consisting of a $3 million total investment from The Recycling Partnership, which includes $1.65 million from the beverage industry, a plastic resin donation for recycling carts from Dow Packing & Specialty Plastics, and lidded rollout carts manufactured by Rehrig Pacific, as well as a $3 million investment from Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund. This first of its kind collaboration will help Baltimore provide free recycling carts to 190,000 households to collect and process more recyclable materials, including beverage bottles and cans. As part of the effort, the city will launch a recycling education campaign to inform the community about the new carts and what can and cannot be recycled.

The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners have estimated that providing Baltimore households with modern recycling carts has the potential to generate an estimated 40 million new pounds of all recyclables per year – an 80% increase of recyclables per household in Baltimore. The program will also help collect and recycle nearly 30 million new pounds of plastic over 10 years, including 16 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that might otherwise have gone to waste.

“The collaboration with The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners is essential for fostering a recycling culture in Baltimore,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “My administration is committed to implementing the City’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan and building greener, healthier communities.”Baltimore is the eighth-largest city in the United States without universal cart recycling access, a key driver in the city launching an ambitious zero-waste goal.

“Delivering free recycling carts to Baltimore City households will simply be a gamechanger for our waste diversion plan,” said Baltimore City Department of Public Works Acting Director Jason W. Mitchell. “By diverting waste from landfills, we not only decrease the workload on our routine services crews, who have been stellar throughout the pandemic, but we also lay the foundation to build a more sustainable and cleaner Baltimore for generations to come.” Providing residents with a free recycling cart is one of the key recommendations in the city’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Planwhich has identified options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal in the city. Previously, Baltimore households who participated in the city’s weekly recycling collections had to provide their own carts.

“This is The Recycling Partnership’s single largest recycling grant to date, and I’m thrilled that it’s in Baltimore. Building a multi-million-dollar grant like this one takes time and trust. We see a skilled and dedicated staff ready to ensure that Baltimore’s new, free recycling program reaches community wide, serving the greater public with this key to protecting the environment.” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “The Baltimore public can take pride in knowing that they’re part of one of the most unique public-private partnerships to improve recycling. This hybrid of grant, investments, and donation of plastic resin to make the recycling carts themselves is the type of collaboration worthy of celebration.”

Launched in 2019 by American Beverage, Every Bottle Back is an unprecedented initiative to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by increasing the number of bottles that are collected and remade into new ones. Every Bottle Back brings together The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and PepsiCo with leading environmental and sustainability organizations – World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners, and The Recycling Partnership – to support the circular plastics economy.

“Local beverage bottlers and beverage distributors share the goal of keeping plastic out of the environment and we welcome this collaboration between the city, businesses and sustainability groups to ensure recyclables are collected and remade into new products as intended,” said Ellen Valentino, executive vice president of the MD/DE/DC Beverage Association.A move to larger-capacity, lidded recycling carts enables safer and more efficient collection, reducing the amount of manual labor needed, helping to prevent injury to collection staff while providing residents with increased storage capacity for their recyclables at the same time.

“Strong, cross-sector collaboration is critical to building resilient local recycling infrastructure that effectively keeps valuable materials in play. We are proud to be a part of this unprecedented partnership with The Recycling Partnership, American Beverage, Dow, Rehrig Pacific and the City of Baltimore to catalyze social, environmental and economic impact on the ground,” said Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “There is power in the collective, and public-private partnerships have proven to be a key component of advancing the circular economy in the United States.”Since recycling carts are made from plastic resin, supplying these 205,000 recycling carts would not be possible without the generous donation of plastic resin from Dow Packing & Specialty Plastics or without the partnership with Rehrig Pacific.

“To build a true circular economy for plastic there must be a collaboration across a variety of companies and organizations,” said Diego Donoso, president, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “The recent Paying It Forward report shows that 40% of Americans don’t have equitable recycling, and this project is a wonderful example of how collaborative solutions can accelerate closing that gap. I invite all industries to join forces with The Recycling Partnership to increase access to recycling of all materials across the United States.”

What Tomorrow’s Retail Bag Looks Like

By Kate Daly

February 16, 2021

Hint: It’s not a single-use plastic bag.

12 minutes. That’s how long it typically takes from the moment we receive a single-use plastic bag to the moment we discard it. And those 12 short minutes barely register within the much longer life cycle of the plastic bag. The story of the plastic bag starts with extracting finite fossil fuels––like natural gas ––and usually ends in landfills, or worse, in our oceans, where they take decades to break down. It’s time that we identify a better, more resilient way forward for retail––one that maximizes valuable resources and benefits the customer, the retailer and the planet.

Every year, 100 billion single-use plastic bags are used annually in the U.S., and fewer than 10% of those are recycled. Plastic bags continue to be one of the top ten most littered items on our beaches, contributing to a mounting global waste crisis. And now, the urgency of these environmental challenges are coming head-to-head with a rapidly changing retail landscape, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home mandates from many governments and work-from-home policies from many companies are driving the growth of e-commerce and digitization as consumer habits shifted almost overnight. This shake-up in retail norms presents the ideal moment for reinventing the single-use plastic bag through new business models and design innovation. If there was ever a time to rethink the status quo of our retail system, it is now. 

The plastic bag plays a pivotal role in the retail experience; whether you’re buying groceries, ordering a shirt for delivery or picking up a prescription. It’s an extension of the store beyond its premises, and a convenience to the consumer, as we carry our goods home, pick them up from the curb or receive them at our doorsteps. To address the challenges of this shared experience around the plastic bag, we need a whole suite of  solutions that can fit the varied retail contexts and customer needs across different geographic, social and economic environments.  

This week, our Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag’s global innovation challenge, the Beyond the Bag Challenge, identified nine winning solutions that show the breadth and real-world promise of solutions that already exist to help reinvent retail and the plastic bag . Each brings a unique contribution to creating a new way to get our goods home, and together they can help pave the way forward, capitalizing on current market trends and shifting consumer habits in order to advance larger, industry-wide sustainable change. 

 

Tracking the bag throughout its life

New digital technologies make it possible for customers and retailers to see well past the 12 minutes that elapse between the current checkout counter to disposal of today’s single-use plastic bag. They provide a clearer, more holistic picture of the lifespan of the bag, and with it, elevate the transparency of entire supply chains.

EON uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to help retailers track inventory, manage reverse logistics and understand how bags are used by monitoring impact data throughout the bag’s value chain, and extending lines of sight into their full lifecycle.

SmartC, a solution co-created by 99Bridges and Envision Charlotte, leverages IoT technologies to connect reusable bags, enabled by smart tags, at participating retail stores, allowing retailers to reward customers with points, coupons or discounts every time they reuse their shopping bags. 

And what about all the existing reusable bags sitting in our closets? Fill it Forward created a tag that connects our bags to a mobile app where users track their environmental impact, help give back to charitable projects, and offer rewards that encourage reuse—significantly extending a bag’s lifetime.


Meeting customer needs

Amidst a changing retail environment, these innovations recognize that habits are difficult to break, and to address this challenge, they have innovated around our lifestyles. Their Reuse models offer durable alternatives to the current retail bag, improving on the user experience not only from a performance standpoint, but from an environmental perspective too.  

GOATOTE offers a kiosk system that provides us easy access to clean reusable bags, solving for those moments you do not have a reusable bag, but don’t want the trade-off of a single-use alternative offered at the store.

ChicoBag aims to have lightweight, compact, reusable bags readily available for a variety of customer interaction points––delivery, curb-side pick-up or in-store.

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. 


Aligning with existing retail operations 

Some emerging innovators are focusing on material science innovations that result in bags that are indistinguishable from today’s plastic bag to a customer or retailer at checkout, but are sourced from renewable materials and follow different paths at end of use.  

To replace traditional thin film plastics, Sway offers a seaweed-derived material that is bio-based and has the potential to be carbon-negative at scale. Their replacement matches the strength and performance of traditional plastic bags.

PlasticFri, on the other hand, sources starch from agricultural waste, creating a bio-based, compostable bag.

As an  upgrade to traditional paper bags, Domtar is developing a new bio-based, recyclable material of 100% cellulose fiber that  is stretchable and stronger, able to stand up to multiple uses. When considering which type of materials to introduce to a location, it is equally important to assess the availability of local curbside organics collection and anaerobic digestion and composting facilities, to ensure that these bags can be processed at end-of-life. 

Today, the outsized impact of plastic bag waste demands innovative solutions. However, as companies work toward zero-waste goals, the packaging of items that go inside the bag is also an important consideration. In recognition of this, we are giving special recognition to two Beyond the Bag Challenge submissions as Circular Trailblazers. These companies are advancing refillable and reusable packaging systems for products across retail, from food to cleaning supplies, broadening the horizon for the waste-free future of retail. Algramo, a start-up based in Chile and now piloting in New York, has created a mobile dispensing system for personal care and cleaning products that allows shoppers to skip packaging all together. Loop, developed by TerraCycle, creates reusable and recyclable packaging alternatives for some well-known household products, eliminating the need for single-use packaging when customers visit a store, or deliver these items to their homes.  

There is no one replacement for the current single-use bag––the solution lies in a combination of approaches that can fit into diverse retail markets.  And it’s critical to test these solutions. The nine winners of the Beyond the Bag Challenge––Chicobag, Domtar, EON, Fill it Forward, GOATOTE, PlasticFri, Returnity, SmartC and Sway––need further investment, refining and piloting to help set them up for success, with support from the retail partners who came together to create the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. We look forward to the exciting work ahead to assess how these solutions can align with customer needs, the growing demand for circular solutions, and the changing face  of retail. 

Closed Loop Partners joins with CVS Health, Target & Walmart to Announce Winners of “Beyond the Bag” Innovation Challenge

By Closed Loop Partners

The Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag enters next phase: testing and piloting new design solutions to combat plastic waste

See the 9 Winners

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners announces 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. Their work ranges from reusable packaging systems, to technology that incentivizes consumers to make the sustainable choice, to bags derived from seaweed or agricultural waste. The winners now enter the next phase of the initiative: working closely with the Consortium to prototype, refine and test the viability of their designs to scale as long-term solutions.

It is estimated that we use 100 billion plastic bags per year in the U.S. alone and less than 10 percent are recycled; the convenience of single-use plastics has had far-reaching consequences for the planet. Single-use plastic bags continue to be one of the top 10 items found along beaches and waterways according to data from Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. The global threats brought about by climate change and the pandemic have only underscored the urgency of addressing our current system.

The Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag is a pre-competitive collaboration committed to reimagining the retail bag and creating a more circular delivery system. Unveiled in July 2020, the Consortium’s Beyond the Bag Initiative is an ambitious three-year undertaking that aims to identify and scale innovative alternatives to the single-use plastic retail bag. Consortium Founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart committed $15 million collectively to the bold collaboration, with the goal of driving transformational change. The Consortium has welcomed additional partners DICK’S Sporting Goods, Dollar General, The Kroger Co., The TJX Companies, Inc., Ahold Delhaize USA Brands, Albertsons Companies, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Wakefern Food Corp., and Walgreens, who have joined in its mission.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to tackle a problem as complex as our reliance on single-use plastic bags,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “The diversity of our winners underscores how businesses and consumers alike need to employ a range of solutions to fit different geographic, social and economic contexts. We’re thrilled to announce these companies entering the next phase of the initiative, as we continue to support their growth and begin to implement select pilot programs.”

The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners offers a holistic approach to tackling complex challenges to the circular economy, by operating across every point of the value chain. This enables the Center and its partners to better understand the diversity of needs across multiple sectors, enhance buy-in from key players and identify opportunities. The Center is a place where competitors and peers alike can join for a common purpose.

“It is exciting to see the potential of our efforts to reimagine the single-use bag in action as we unveil these innovative solutions,” says Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “We look forward to exploring opportunities to pilot these solutions at CVS Pharmacy locations.”

The Beyond the Bag Challenge is only the first step. The Center and its partners are committed to a measured, data-driven approach to test and scale viable, long-term solutions that bring value to the entire system.

“We know that tackling this challenge requires a holistic approach to best serve the needs of people, the business, and the planet,” says Amanda Nusz, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Target. “We’re excited by the nine winners – together they offer a compelling range of possibilities and inspiring potential solutions to this urgent and necessary work.”

“We’re proud to be part of a collaborative endeavor like the Beyond the Bag Initiative,” says Jane Ewing, Senior Vice President Sustainability, Walmart. “The Beyond the Bag Challenge winners inspire us to reimagine a more sustainable future, showcasing the breadth and tangibility of innovative solutions and we look forward to supporting them in their development.”

The Selection Process
The Beyond the Bag Challenge, in partnership with the global design firm IDEO, 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. The Consortium then selected a shortlist of 58 concepts to explore deeper, and ultimately selected a cohort of 9 Winners.

Winners were chosen through a collective process by a panel of 10 subject matter experts alongside the Consortium’s Founding Partners, Sector Lead Partners, Environmental Advisory Partners and the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. A comprehensive set of criteria addressed three overarching areas:

  • People: it must maintain the convenience, efficiency and effectiveness of the single-use plastic bag for customers and retail employees alike. It must take into account accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Business: it must have attainable, long-term value for retailers in a variety of environments.
  • Planet: it must operate within a circular system and lessen or eliminate environmental and social harm in its sourcing, production, useful life and end-of-life.

These principles are equally important when looking to scale and implement systems that change how we transport items from businesses to home. The Beyond the Bag Initiative thinks outside the box, seeking solutions that align the interests of people, the planet and business.

The Next Phase
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, a mentorship program to further hone and advance their solutions, or begin product testing to improve performance, customer experience and more. The Consortium will work closely with winning solutions throughout 2021, supporting design research, prototyping, mentoring and iterative developments toward piloting select solutions in-market.

About the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners
The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners unites competitors to tackle complex material challenges and to implement systemic change that advances the circular economy. Adept at navigating every step in the value chain, Closed Loop Partners brings together designers, manufacturers, recovery systems operators, trade organizations, municipalities, policymakers and NGOs to create scalable innovations that target big system problems.

The Center’s first initiative, the NextGen Consortium, assembled leading food and beverage companies, including McDonald’s and Starbucks, to identify and commercialize a widely recyclable, compostable and/or reusable cup. 12 winning cup solutions were selected and the Consortium is supporting the testing of these new solutions as well as conducting select pilots to accelerate their path to scale. Learn more about the Center’s work here.

About the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag
The Beyond the Bag Initiative, launched by the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, aims to identify, pilot and implement viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag. Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy launched the initiative with Founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart. The Kroger Co. joined as Grocery Sector Lead Partner, DICK’S Sporting Goods joined as Sports & Outdoors Sector Lead Partner, Dollar General as Value Sector Lead Partner and TJX as Apparel & Home Goods Sector Lead Partner. Ahold Delhaize USA Brands, Albertsons Companies, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Wakefern Food Corp., and Walgreens are Supporting Partners, and Conservation International and Ocean Conservancy serve as Environmental Advisory Partners. IDEO is the Consortium’s Innovation Partner. Learn more about the Consortium here.

Contact: [email protected]

The TJX Companies Joins Beyond the Bag Initiative

By

February 13, 2021

TJX has long been committed to pursuing initiatives that are environmentally responsible and smart for our business. 

To further its commitment, TJX has joined Closed Loop Partners’ Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, as the Apparel and Home Goods Sector Lead Partner. The Consortium’s Beyond the Bag Initiative convenes leading retailers, aiming to identify, test, and implement viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag. TJX believes that the innovative solutions resulting from this effort could benefit the environment in many ways and could ultimately help enable a solution that uses innovative materials and an efficient collection system and be implemented at a scale that could limit the amount of plastic waste generated from retail point-of-sale bags, and associated harmful chemicals, from entering the environment.

“We are thrilled to welcome TJX as the Apparel and Home Goods Sector Lead Partner for the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, further expanding the Consortium’s potential for impact,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “The plastic bag is used across diverse contexts and in joining our efforts, TJX is demonstrating its efforts to reduce plastic waste.”