Walmart, Target, CVS partner in search of plastic bag alternative

NEW YORK -- Major retailers are working together to find alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

On Tuesday, Target announced it would be joining the initiative -- called the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag -- as a founding partner alongside CVS Health and Walmart.

Kroger and Walgreens have also joined the group, which was created by investment firm Closed Loop, according to its website.

The goal of the consortium is “to identify, pilot and implement innovative alternative designs for the single-use retail bag,” according to Target’s announcement.

The group’s members will invest $15 million collectively toward the goal.

“We believe in serving our guests and communities with actions that reduce our footprint on the planet," Amanda Nusz, Target’s vice president of corporate responsibility, said in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with Closed Loop Partners and other leading retailers to take on a challenge facing the entire industry, and we welcome others to join us in this collective effort as we aim to design a better solution.”

According to Target’s announcement, the consortium will also be opening a design contest to the public.

“Beginning in August, the Consortium will invite all innovators to submit their designs for a new retail bag that’s easy to use and environmentally friendly,” the announcement said. “The winning ideas will then go through testing and potential piloting.”

Earlier this year, many cities and some states were beginning to implement bans on straws and single-use plastics.

However, once the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., many jurisdictions paused those bans over fears that the virus could stay on and be passed on reusable bags, cups and straws.