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Target, CVS Stores in New Jersey Debut Reusable Bag Rental Program

Goatote’s kiosk system tested as Garden State bans single-use plastic bags
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
A kiosk system that enables shoppers to rent reusable bags is being tested at select Target and CVS stores in New Jersey.

As consumers and grocers seek to reduce their carbon footprint, a new alternative for bagged groceries is being tested in stores. Goatote is piloting a reusable bag rental system in select Target and CVS Pharmacy locations in New Jersey.

That state’s ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect earlier this month. Stores larger than 2,500 feet are not allowed to hand out plastic or paper bags.

The reusable bag pilot program is managed by Closed Loop Partners, with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. In 2021, Goatote and tech partner 99Bridges won the “Beyond the Bag Challenge” sponsored by the Consortium, which works with founding partners Target Corp., CVS and Walmart, sector leads The Kroger Co. and Dollar General and supporting partners Albertsons Cos., Ahold Delhaize and H-E-B, among others.

"We're excited to see Goatote and 99Bridges' progress and continued work with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag partners. 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."

Amanda Nusz, SVP of corporate responsibility at Target, said the timing is right for this pilot. "Our guests are feeling the growing burden of waste, and that includes single-use plastic retail bags," she remarked. "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."

Added Renee Lundahl, co-founder of Goatote: "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.”

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America with nearly 2,000 locations. With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100.

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