Closed Loop Partners Announce Winners Of The Beyond The Bag Challenge

by Rudy Sanchez on 02/18/2021 | 2 Minute Read

Closed Loop Partners, a New York-based investment firm focused on funding companies and technologies with a positive social and environmental impact, has announced the winners of its Beyond the Bag Challenge. In all, they selected nine projects that run the gamut from material innovations and technological enablers to reuse and refill programs. 

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The winners will now work closely with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, led by Closed Loop Partners. This will also include founding members from CVS, Target, and Walmart, as well as innovation partner IDEO, environmental buddies Conversation International and Ocean Conservancy, among others representing the retail sector. The winners will share a portion of the $1 million prize pool, along with continued support from the consortium.

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Among the material innovation winners, you'll find paper manufacturer Domtar and its stretchable and durable cellulose-based material. PlaticFri is developing a biodegradable plastic replacement suitable for bags and drinking cups. Sway aims to create plastic alternatives out of seaweed, and in doing so, raise seaweed farms, harvesting a low-load crop that's easy to manage and can provide an alternative to overfishing.

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Goatote uses durable, reusable bags in a shared system where users deposit and pull totes out of a kiosk. Returnity is built on a similar reuse business model but serves the e-commerce space, offering reusable and durable mailers while specializing in non-fragile goods such as clothing.

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“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to tackle a problem as complex as our reliance on single-use plastic bags,” Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, said in a press release

"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,” she added in the same press release. “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.”

Learn more about the winners here.

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