Beyond the Bag: How ChicoBag Is Reinventing the Retail Bag A Note from Andy Keller, Founder and President of ChicoBag

February 22, 2021 2 min read

Beyond the Bag: How ChicoBag Is Reinventing the Retail Bag A Note from Andy Keller, Founder and President of ChicoBag

I’d just finished chowmein for lunch, extra spring rolls please.

It was a random Wednesday in the middle of February.

The time was 1 p.m. for us California folks, 5 o’clock somewhere, and close of business for Wall Street.

And the bell was ringing...for us.

ChicoBag had just been named a winner in the “Reuse and Refill” innovation category of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners’Beyond the Bag Challenge. Alongside eight other winners of the challenge, we helped virtually ring the New York Stock Exchange’sThe Closing Bell® to celebrate our innovation in reinventing theretail bag

Just look how excited I am!


Aside from the now legendary status on the NYSE, this win is a really exciting step forward for the ChicoBag mission and for sustainability as a whole. Here’s why:

For the first time in history, mega corporations are coming together to find alternatives to plastic shopping bags.What would normally be considered competitors areworkingtogether to solve a pressing global issue.The world is finally waking up from its apathy towards plastic pollution and taking big action towards alternatives and solutions.This is a giant step forward for the retail industry’s impact on the environment.

The Beyond the Bag Initiative was kicked off by Closed Loop Partners, who convened a Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. This initiative is athree-year program launched in 2020 by founding partners CVS Health, Target, and Walmart. The goal of the consortium is toidentify, test and scale sustainable alternatives to the single-use plastic bags clogging the landfills, beaches, and waterways.

The winning ChicoBag solution is what we’ve called “Bags as a Service.” Here’s how it will work:

At store checkouts:

  • Customers can borrow a high-quality reusable bag at retail checkout if they forget theirs
  • They have the option to return and/or earn rewards during the bag’s use as part of the sharing economy. 


  • Reusable bags will be an option for online orders that are prepared for pick-up, especially relevant now in the age of COVID.

The video below explains it more in detail:


Over the next several months, we’ll be working hand in hand with the Consortium to test, pilot, scale, and hopefully move our Bags as a Service program into retail markets. 

Follow along with us on our blog, our social, and in email for updates on our Beyond the Bag journey.

Help us ring them bells!