Closed Loop Partners has revealed that various national retailers and independent, family-owned stores across Colorado and Arizona, US have joined the ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ Pilot initiative.

Launched by the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, the initiative will allow participating brands and retailers to assess bag reduction solutions alongside local independent shops in Denver and Tucson.

The retailers and brands mainly include CVS Health, Target, Dollar General, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Ulta Beauty, Kroger through local King Soopers & Fry’s stores; and TJX through their local TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores.

It will further help the participating members to determine whether the collective retailer action is effective enough to make it a norm for customers to carry their own reusable bags whenever they go shopping, and whether this will help in driving a ‘cultural shift’ or not.

Another major objective of this pilot programme is to reinforce customers’ behaviour towards adopting reusable bags, as research by the consortium found a lack of consistency in the use of reusable bags by customers.

The pilot effort will help customers to remember to use such bags extensively, even beyond grocery shopping.

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The implementation of this effort will see participating retailers evaluating the bag-reduction strategies that are stated under the consortium’s Playbook, including various marketing, signage and customer prompt tactics.

The strategies will be leveraged around and outside 150 stores in Denver, Tucson along with any nearby metropolitan areas.

The pilot programme began on 1 May and will continue until 30 July.

The results from the pilot will help the consortium to explore the possibility of scaling easy-to-implement and cost-effective strategies to help promote national cultural shifts.

Closed Loop Partners Center for the Circular Economy head Kate Daly said: “Retailers coming together to support customers in bringing their own reusable bag whenever and wherever they shop is a key step to reducing single-use plastic waste.

“This pilot brings to life the Beyond the Bag Consortium’s collaborative, holistic approach to addressing an urgent plastic waste challenge, and we look forward to seeing the impact of this effort at [a bigger] scale.”