One Step Closer to a Circular System for Grocery bags: New Funding and New Pilot Projects

2023-08-27

The Returnable project, where Axfoundation collaborates with Sweden’s leading grocery chains to develop a circular solution for paper bags in e-commerce, has received the green light for additional funding from Vinnova. This enables deeper customer insight into circular models with a focus on converting customers to circular systems.

Several pilot projects are now running in parallel to find a solution to the mountain of single-use paper bags. In addition to the Returnable pilot projects, two of the project partners are launching further practical pilot projects. The aim is to find commercial and environmental benefits from a circular model. One example is the collaboration between Swedish grocery chain Coop and last-mile company Gordon, who are now carrying out a joint project to test how circular packaging could replace paper bags. The Swedish grocery chain ICA has also done a small test with a circular box with the aim of finding a more customer-friendly and environmentally friendly solution than the current paper bag.

With the help of a practical system solution in the form of a "borrow bag " with a deposit, customers will be nudged to take the step from a linear to a circular flow.

With the help of a practical system solution in the form of a "borrow bag " with a deposit, customers will be nudged to take the step from a linear to a circular flow.

It is exciting to follow the development of these pilots! The more tests that are carried out, the better the conditions for increasing knowledge and bringing the industry together on the issue. These tests will also bring important lessons and experiences that can be applied in the Returnable project. Together, we are getting closer and closer to an industry-wide circular solution. – Amelie Silfverstolpe, Sustainable Innovation Lead, Axfoundation

In the fall of 2023, partners in the Returnable project will conduct further physical tests with different variants of circular bags and traceability solutions.

Collaboration between stakeholders is the basis for creating real change. This is especially true in complex issues like this, where the goal is to create a circular flow across the entire e-commerce chain. – Amelie Silfverstolpe, Sustainable Innovation Lead, Axfoundation

About the Returnable project

In the Returnable project, Axfoundation, together with Chalmers Industriteknik and a number of Swedish food actors, is investigating the potential for an industry-wide circular system for grocery bags in e-commerce. With the help of a practical system solution in the form of a “borrow bag ” with a deposit, customers will be nudged to take the step from a linear to a circular flow. Learn more about the project.

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