Meet the Beyond the Bag Challenge Shortlist

Celebrating 58 ideas that are pushing the boundaries of material innovation and systems design as they reinvent getting goods from retailer to home.

In 2020, OpenIDEO partnered with Closed Loop Partners and the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag to launch the Beyond the Bag Challenge, asking innovators to answer the following question:

How might we transport goods from retailer to destination in a way that is compatible with diverse retail systems, delivers ease and convenience for customers, and reduces environmental impact?

455 teams from around the world joined the Challenge. Now, we are thrilled to announce the Shortlist. The Challenge brought to light future-forward, tech-enabled solutions that can help build a new system that serves the function of the retail bag in a sustainable, affordable and inclusive way.
Solutions represent a range of company stages, from early concept startups to established, commercial businesses, within three broad categories of innovation––reusable designs, enabling technology and innovative materials. Innovations were evaluated through the lenses of sustainability, business and technical viability, accessibility, customer behavior and alignment with reuse and recovery infrastructure. These provide a window into the future. Identifying innovation is the first step, and with the right kind of testing, honing and piloting, we can start implementing new solutions and systems at scale.

During the Refinement Phase, the Shortlist is invited to develop prototypes, plans to scale their business model, and other demonstrations of the solution’s ability to satisfy the goals of the Challenge. Sign up for updates and stay tuned!

Shortlisted Ideas

Reusable Designs

Baba Bags

By: Baba Bags

A sustainable social enterprise adopting an old European proven solution to the plastic bag backed by a brand focused on giving & community.

BagBank: A Bag Recycling System Leveraging Sharing Model

By: BagBank

BagBank is a bag recycling system that consists of a compact bag withdrawal/return station deployed on every checkout counter and a specially-designed app for customers.

Bags as a service by ChicoBag - A solution that removes many of the obstacles currently blocking wide-spread adoption of reusable bags.

By: ChicoBag Company

A low to no-cost reusable bag option - especially for those who forget their bags at home or in the car or opt to shop on-line.

Connected-USE: An IoT powered Reusable Smart-Bag System

By: 99Bridges and Envision Charlotte

IoT-powered bag-agnostic reusable smart bag system build for the digital generation enabling automation to reduce environmental impact.

Go Cart: Vehicle Portable Shopping Trolly Cart

By: Baylor School

Go Cart is a shopping cart that can be effortlessly carried to the shopper's home with the shopper's car or truck. The user won't have to return the cart after shopping and no plastic bags are needed.



GOATOTE’s reuse system provides access to clean reusable bags though digital and physical integrations creating an omni channel experience.


By: bgood GmbH

goodbag is a smart shopping bag and app that allows users to plant trees and collect plastic waste every time they re-use their bag.


By: Loop

Loop’s reusable bags that can be accessed for a refundable deposit while checking out and return in store to be cleaned and used again.

LOOPLINE. The Connected Bag.

By: Loopline

LOOPLINE is a sustainability hub encompassing circular and connected packaging, products, and product lifecycle consulting.

Matchbox PKG - Integrated Handled Packaging andHybrid Carrier

By: Matchbox PKG

Concept hybrid of a shopping bag and box meant to eliminate the retail bag and be re-used as a home storage system for consumers.

Panteposen / deposit return bag. The smart reusable bag.


A complete system for a smart reusable bag based on reverse vending, using IoT and RFID technology, and a digital deposit incentive scheme.


By: Simbeos

A return for deposit system, which allows any shopper to borrow reusable bags.

Systems-Driven Reusable Packaging Integration

By: Returnity

Reusable packaging solutions that scale through smart system deployment.

The Bagless Cord - Eliminating Bags for Boxed Goods Purchases

By: N/A

The Bagless cord can transport boxed goods with minimal environmental impact while providing all the convenience and affordability of a bag.

The BRINGiT Bag System - A game changing solution for single-use and reusable bags


Remarkably sustainable, reusable grocery and produce bags that outperform and replace alternatives without operational change for retailers.

The digital smart bag empowering retailers, consumers and planet-friendly brands to transform bag supply into a force for good.

By: Bagboard Limited

Evolving bag supply into a media format and establishing an internationally viable solution to eliminate all single-use plastic bags.

The last bag you'll ever need

By: Lotus Sustainables

The Lotus Trolley Bag is the result of a husband-and-wife team’s vision to tackle single-use plastic in their home, thus spawning a product dedicated to fighting waste and championing sustainability.


By: Eagle Hill School

VersaCart wheels multiple bins for big shopping trips, while bins have wheels and handles for small shopping trips.


By: Moved By Tomorrow LLC

A wallet that securely unfolds to become a reusable bag, and goes back to being a wallet again.

Enabling Technology

Algramo: Omni-Channel Platform Technology that Eliminates Single Use CPG Packaging

By: Algramo

Algramo is platform technology enabling economically inclusive omni-channel CPG consumption that eliminates single-use packaging & bags. Mind the Old Bags

By: Baggle

Reminding users to bring their bags before leaving the house, and be rewarded by checking in as a community

Circular supply chains

By: Circularise

Circularise helps plastic manufacturers, brands and OEMs to trace raw materials and share data about them while maintaining privacy.

Connected Circular Bag – CircularID™

By: Eon Group Holdings Inc

Powering the Connected Circular Bag with industry’s CircularID™Protocol – creating the systems, operations and incentives for circularity.

Delivering Fresh (Without the Bag): A Circular eGrocery Management Solution

By: FoodX

FoodX provides technology to retailers that enables the use of innovative reusable materials instead of plastic bags.

Fill it Forward

By: Fill it Forward

An app based technology that integrates with the reusable bag you already own. Give back, track your impact, earn rewards, and never forget your reusable bag again.

IoT-enabled Food Delivery & Pickup System

By: Minnow Technologies, Inc.

Our contribution is an IoT-enabled food delivery & pickup "pod" that enables safer and more convenient and efficient food delivery & pickup.

Planet E app

By: Travelway Group International inc.

App designed encourage the client to reuse their store bought reusable shopping bag to push them to maximize the lifespan of their bag.

SmartBins reimagines grocery stores for a sustainable future.

By: SmartBins

SmartBins brings a much needed modern and automated approach to your local bulk aisle by eliminating the need to weigh and write down codes.

The "Beyond the Bag Network” from Tapwow.

By: Tapwow

The solution will track and inspire environmental responsibility at retail with program participation via smartphone & software.


By: Siklus Refil Indonesia

Tackles plastic pollution by avoiding plastic waste in the first place & making everyday necessities affordable for low-income communities. We replace non-recyclable sachet with refill tricycles.

Innovative Materials


By: Distinctive Action Ltd

Sustainable startup Distinctive Action is offering a biodegradable alternative to plastic bags.

Barra Fibers - Compostable Bags

By: Barracuda Technologies Inc.

Developed a process to convert Agri wastes into Barra Natural Fibers for Non-woven and Molded Fiber Applications.

Biohybrid tshirt bag POLPUSA

By: Polpusa, INC.

T-shirt bag produced with bio-hybrid material, recyclable and reusable. The material is a blend between biobased material and PE. Through our bag, the consumers can learn more about the circular economy.

Carapac: Ocean to Earth Packaging

By: Carapac

Our flexible material is used to make strong packaging including retail bags that are home compostable in 3-6 weeks and ocean friendly. Our material is made from nutrient rich crustacean shell waste.

Carbon-Free Packaging

By: Ecofrenli

Help reducing CO2 better than any trees, nourish the natural habitat after use and help the community.

Circular Economy-Waste to Wealth

By: Texool Limited

UPCYCLING post consumer hospitality bed & table linen and pre consumer mill cuts into bags & accessories RECYCLING pre & post consumer textile waste mechanically to weave materials suitable for bags.

Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable and Compostable alternatives to disposable single use plastics

By: Regeno Ventures Pvt Ltd

Starch based solutions for the primary packaging sector are completely biodegradable and compostable in both industrial and home compositing units and are soluble in water above 80 degree celsius.

EcoVia- Ecovia is a bioplastic innovation from paper and cotton fabric scraps.

By: Eco Via ltd.

Our eco-friendly biodegradable packaging material, is a blend of plant based resins, modified cellulose and some natural additives, which is home compostable and can go through marine degradation.

From Waste to Packaging: Reinventing DisposableBags and Delivery System with Biodegradable PlantFiber Material.

By: Bhumi Solution

Utilizing agricultural waste to create low cost biodegradable alternative and recycling system to the current retail packaging.

Hot Water-Soluble Grocery Bag

By: MonoSol, LLC

MonoSol's existing water-soluble technology for healthcare laundry bags is repurposed for a retail bag. These bags can enter into recycling streams where they dissolve and then biodegrade.

Hydropol Circular “Super Paper” Bag Material From Aquapak Polymers

By: Aquapak Polymers LTD

We produce Hydropol, a highly functional, biodegradable, water soluble polymer that is non-toxic, marine safe and processes conventionally.

Making packaging disappear!

By: Notpla Limited

[Photo omitted for privacy]


By: MarinaTex Ltd

MarinaTex is a truly sustainable, circular and biodegradable packaging solution utilising red algae and an extensive global fish processing waste stream (50 million tonnes annually).

Marine Biodegradable & Home Compostable Shopping Bags

By: Danimer Scientific

Bags made from Danimer Scientific's Nodax PHA will look and feel like traditional plastic bags but are fully biodegradable.

Marine biodegradable plastic bag

By: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

We have developed a new marine biodegradable plastic material (grade name DA9007) that can be used to make plastic bags.

Multi purpose Home Compostable Bag with high renewable plant based content.

By: Novamont North America Inc

A multi purpose tool used to carry grocery plus house hold items, no micro-plastics and proven to help increase food waste recycling.

Multi-Use Antimicrobial Bioplastic Bags

By: Applied Sciences De’Vision

The ultimate reusable biodegradable bioplastic bags.

Naturally Biodegradable, Certified USDA, Home Industrial, and Marine Compostable MultipurposeBag

By: beyondGREEN biotech, Inc.

Organic material naturally breaks down in the environment, serves as food to be consumed by micro-organisms, supporting a circular lifecycle.

Neptune Plastics

By: Neptune Plastics

A film that looks, feels, and acts like conventional plastic film, but has no petroleum rendering it biodegradable, compostable, digestible by wildlife, and leaves no microplastics.


By: OceanSmartCase at Exonera AB

A grocery bag design made from 100% innovative paper. The material is reusable, recyclable, ocean bio-degradable and available in volume.

PackEco - From the Soil and Back Again

By: PackEco

A 100% compostable product that replaces the plastic bag and, once it has reached its useful life, can be composted or returned to redemption centers to be planted or transformed into fertilizer.


By: PlasticFri

PlasticFri - 100% Biodegradable and Compostable carrier bag made from agricultural waste.


By: Circology

We and a few thousand worms transform non-biodegradable polystyrene packaging into biodegradable bags.

Solubag USA, Inc.

By: Solubag USA, Inc.

Solubag has created & patented a solution for non-plastic single use & reusable bags that dissolve in water & are safe for the environment.


By: Solutum Technologies Ltd.

Solutum have developed a novel plastic material which completely dissolves and degrades in water which is completely eco-friendly and environmentally safe - leaving only CO2, H2O and biomass.

Solving the Plastics Nightmare

By: Cardia Bioplastics LTD

Eliminate plastic bag proliferation from landfill and ocean environments with compostable bags that are biobased.

Strong, Lightweight and Stretchable – the BetterPaper Bag

By: Domtar

A strong bio-material with stretch like plastic, but lighter than kraft made from a renewable resource that is recyclable and biodegradable.

Sway the Future: Regenerative Retail Bags Made from Seaweed

By: Sway

Seaweed-based, home-compostable replacements for single-use plastic bags which actively improve ecosystems rather than destroying them.