After delaying its March launch due to coronavirus, TerraCycle has today (15 July) introduced its zero waste shopping platform Loop to the UK in a pilot partnership with Tesco.
The supermarket giant says the move is part of its 4R ‘Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ plan to transform packaging and means that customers can now order 150 products online, including food, personal care and household items, to be delivered in fully reusable packaging.
Tesco’s responsible sourcing director Giles Bolton describes how the service works: “The concept is similar to how the milkman used to come to the front door, pick up used milk bottles, and leave fresh milk in a new container. After use, customers simply place the empty containers into the tote bag in which the food arrived and go online to schedule a packaging pick-up and second delivery. A deposit is paid on each piece of packaging and is fully refunded upon return.”
Customers can sign up to the Loop service on Tesco’s website and their order will be delivered in a tote bag by courier company DPD, who will pick up the empties when requested. Or customers can drop off the tote and empty packaging at one of the 2,500 DPD collection points across the UK.
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
All returned packaging is professionally cleaned, then refilled by the manufacturers, who include Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nivea, Danone, Heinz, Bulldog Skincare, Jackpot Peanut Butter, BrewDog, Join the Pipe, La Biscuiterie de Provence, Chestnut Cheeks and NOICEcare. Refilled products are then delivered to customers homes in a continuous loop.
“Reuse is a vital part of our 4R packaging plan and this pilot partnership is key to finding a scalable reusable packaging solution for our customers,” says Bolton. “We will listen to their feedback and help Loop develop the online service throughout the year. The range will increase over time and next year we will introduce some of the products in reusable packaging into our own stores.”
Adds Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle: “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.”
With Loop’s move into the UK, it will debut a new warehousing and cleaning model. Ecolab Inc has embedded its cleaning technologies in selected DHL warehouse operations to handle the cleaning and sanitization operations of Loop’s durable containers. DHL will support Loop’s warehousing, fulfilment, returned deposit scanning and process all cleaned containers for distribution back to consumer product manufacturers.