Research and analysis

Learnings from Multi-Retailer Reusable Bag Pilots

Beyond the Plastic Bag: Sparking a sea change for reuse

In this report, Beyond the Plastic Bag, the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag shares key insights and analysis gathered from collaborative reusable bag pilots conducted across select CVS Health, Target and Walmart stores throughout Northern California in 2021.

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What is covered in this report?

  • What We Did: Collaborative Pilots in Action

    Closed Loop Partners undertook first-of-a-kind joint retailer pilots to tackle single-use plastic bag waste. Leading retailers collaborated with one another, customers, innovative reuse startups, environmental organizations and team members across stores to test out reuse models with the shared goal of achieving a circular future for retail.

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  • What We Learned: Learnings From Across the Reuse Journey

    Across the customer journey for reusable bag services — from the moment of awareness, to adoption, reuse & return, and continued participation — there are multiple logistical and emotional factors that contribute to success. As such, there are touchpoints throughout a customer’s entire retail experience that serve as critical opportunities to make a compelling case for participation.

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  • How to Scale: Partnerships Accelerating Scale

    We explore the dynamic interplay and opportunities for collaboration that come to life when multiple retailers work together on reuse, demonstrating a pathway forward for scale. Moving away from siloed individual retailer efforts helps fast-track potential for collaboration that can be iterated on in multiple reuse scenarios.

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What must retailers consider when implementing reusable bag services?


Our Beyond the Bag Pilots unearthed key insights across the customer journey and behind the scenes — the reverse logistics and management — to determine what helps the long term social, environmental and financial viability of reuse models.

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