It’s estimated that the U.S. alone uses 100 billion plastic bags per year, and less than 10 percent of these bags are recycled.https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-11/documents/2016_and_2017_facts_and_figures_data_tables_0.pdf
At the same time, the average retail plastic bag is only used for 12 minuteshttps://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-11/documents/2016_and_2017_facts_and_figures_data_tables_0.pdf, but can last 500 to 1,000 years on Earth.
That’s why CVS Health recently joined Closed Loop Partners, and other leading retailers, including Target and Walmart, to launch a new initiative to reinvent the single-use retail plastic bag. The Beyond the Bag Initiative aims to identify, pilot and implement new design solutions and models to create an improved customer experience without unintended environmental consequences.
“We came to this initiative with both the health of the planet and the health of all people in mind,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer, CVS Health. “We know they are inextricably linked.”
CVS Health’s participation in this initiative recognizes that reinventing the retail bag requires a coordinated industry approach and brings together many types of retailers to look at this question from a variety of angles. The work will consider customers at all of the nearly 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations, in rural, suburban and urban communities, where the need for a retail bag can be different. Working with Closed Loop Partners and other companies that are part of this initiative, CVS Health will carefully consider the consumer experience as part of the work to innovate in this space.
The company’s participation in and its financial commitment to this initiative is just one step on its journey to transform health over the next decade. Launched in May, the company’s Transform Health 2030 corporate social responsibility roadmap outlines CVS Health’s commitment to positively impacting the people and communities it serves, while supporting the health of its business and the planet. In addition to working with the Beyond the Bag Initiative, CVS Health has set goals to reduce its overall environmental impacts and made commitments related to responsible sourcing and chemical management.
CVS Health’s commitment to this initiative is driven by the company’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health. Creating an innovative retail bag solution for the millions of customers the company serves will help to make both local communities and the whole planet a healthier place.