- Target and CVS are testing a reusable bag rental system called Goatote at select stores in New Jersey, following the state's ban on single-use paper and plastic bags that went into effect earlier this month, according to a press release last week.
- Shoppers use their smartphones to scan a QR code at a Goatote kiosk to take as many bags as needed and then return them within 30 days to any kiosk.
- The pilot comes at a time when retailers are trying to find alternatives to single-use bags as a growing number of cities and states look to curb their use.
The two retailers and Walmart previously tested Goatote last summer after it was named one of the winners in the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag's Beyond the Bag Challenge. That pilot program helped the companies better understand what shoppers are looking for from a reusable bag rental system, according to the press release.
A Goatote subscription costs $2.50 per month for unlimited access to any of the system's kiosks. It also has a $1 pay-per-use option, which gives customers access to a single kiosk. For either option, shoppers can take as many bags as they need, according to Goatote's website. Customers will get charged $2 if they don't return the bags within 30 days, and can receive a $1.50 refund if they return them after 30 days.
After bags are returned, Goatote says it cleans them and does a "quality check" before making them available again.
The bags are in use at six locations in New Jersey, including CVS stores in Marlton and North Plainfield, and Target locations in Jersey City, Watchung, Howell and Marlton. Goatote's website notes it is "coming soon" to stores in Canada.
Target, CVS and Walmart are among several retailers looking for more sustainable bag solutions that reduce plastic use while also meeting shoppers' needs.
Kroger, Dollar General, Ahold Delhaize and Albertsons are also members of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. Last month, Aldi announced plans to get rid of plastic shopping bags from its U.S. stores by the end of next year.