Dick’s Sporting Goods wants to further reduce its environmental footprint.
Today, the Coraopolis, Penn.-based retailer announced that it plans to remove all single-use plastic bags from its stores by 2025. It also revealed that it has joined forces with Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy to seek more sustainable solutions to replace the current retail bag through the Beyond the Bag initiative.
“Our customers are outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about working together to keep our planet clean and safe for future generations,” chief communications and sustainability officer Peter Land said in a statement. “Like our customers, we’re committed to doing what we can to prevent waste from ending up in our oceans and natural environment, and we look forward to working on the Beyond the Bag Initiative.”
Closed Loop Partners’ initiative launched early this year, with the help of a consortium that includes big-box giants Walmart and Target, as well as Kroger, CVS Health and Walgreens. Altogether, they have invited designers and suppliers to submit their ideas for sustainable bag solutions and models through its global Innovation Challenge, with an initial focus on implementation in the United States. The best ideas, which must be submitted online by Oct. 2, will be eligible to receive a portion of $1 million in funding and enter a product accelerator with Closed Loop Partners.
Dick’s will serve as the consortium’s sports and outdoors sector lead partner. The retailer said it currently has a recycling rate of 70% across its retail stores and operations centers.
“We want to realize a future in which waste is a thing of the past,” said Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “Dick’s commitment to creating a more sustainable world for its customers makes them a perfect partner of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag.”
The Beyond the Bag initiative, shared Closed Loop Partners, was launched amid global risks from mounting plastic waste, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic — all of which have “revealed the vulnerabilities of our current system.” Research shows that plastic bags are used for about 12 minutes on average and are estimated to have a lifespan of 400 years or more, leading to rising consumer concerns, advocacy campaigns and regulatory bans or fees, such as those in New York and California.