If you’ve been following our very own Dr Retail, Valley’s MD James Haggas on LinkedIn, you will have seen his retail safari around Leeds that featured ASDA’s first sustainability store in the suburb of Middleton. The store features various sustainability experiments, including a large refill zone with a number of major brands taking part (Unilever, Taylors of Harrogate and Kellogg’s among others).
One of the gripes that James had on his visit was the laundry detergent refill station, where shoppers can follow instructions on screen, purchase a reusable stainless steel bottle and then have it filled. It look several minutes to fill the bottle, which is not really practical for a high traffic site. We of course understand that this is an experimental store and is all about iteration. On the theme of reducing plastic waste, we also wanted to draw the attention of Loop’s launch in the UK in July 2020.
Loop is a zero waste shopping platform offering a host of everyday products in reusable refillable packaging and has launched a pilot with founding UK retail partner Tesco. UK consumers can now order a range of products in reusable packaging at Loop’s online store, paying a deposit which is refundable when the packaging is returned.
The scheme launched in July 2020 and saw the debut of 150 product lines available for purchase online at Loop’s online store, with deposits ranging from 20p to £5. Using Loop-branded reusable shopping bags, customers will be able to return the packaging by scheduling a pickup from their home, or dropping off the tote bags at one of the 2,500 DPD collection points across the UK. The packaging will then be cleaned according to health and safety standards before being refilled.
Loop’s packaging is designed to be reused a minimum of 10 times, with the goal of up to 100 cycles. Using cleaning facilities provided by Ecolab Inc, Loop says products can be safely sanitised before being returned to brands to be refilled and sent to the next consumer. Both companies will work together with the goal of making the service available in-store at selected Tesco locations as early as 2021.
Dave Lewis, Tesco Group CEO, said: “Through our closed loop strategy of Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Tesco has a clear ambition to reduce packaging. Our ground-breaking partnership with Loop has been designed to test a new way of helping customers use less plastic and explore the exciting potential of reuse. We will learn what works at scale as we develop plans with Loop to introduce reusable packaging into our business.”
Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle, said: “Loop was designed from the ground-up to reinvent the way we consume by learning from historic circular and sustainable models like the milkman from yesteryear, while honouring the convenience afforded by our single use consumption of today.
“Tesco is the perfect partner to bring Loop to retail in the UK due to its commitment to sustainability, in combating plastics waste, and its operational scale as the UK’s biggest grocery retailer.” Run by TerraCycle, Loop was launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2019, supported by a host of international producers and retailers such as Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever.
We’ll continue to watch developments in this space closely, as Valley continues to support brands and retailers in switching to paper-based, recyclable display solutions.