Tesco Loop service

Picking up the pieces: Tesco online starts reusable packaging service

Tesco has teamed up with reusable packaging service provider, Loop, to launch a new online shopping option for its customers.

Consumers can order from a range of 150 products for home delivery, and the items come in reusable packaging that is picked up and refilled for use elsewhere after one customer has finished with it.

Available products via the Tesco-Loop tie-up include sauces, yoghurts, soaps, cereals, moisturisers, chocolate and washing detergents. The goods arrive in reusable packaging, which is used multiple times to reduce the amount of packaging waste finding its way to landfill.

Loop allies with major brands and retailers and currently has partners in the UK, France, and the US. Following its partnership with the UK’s largest retailer, the company plans to launch its service in Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany in 2021 as it continues to grow on an international scale.

Giles Bolton, responsible sourcing director at Tesco, commented: “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.”

Of course, milk delivery is not confined to history, as Bolton’s comments perhaps suggest, with companies such as Milk & More and Dairy Drop continuing to offer these services across the UK. But this latest offering from Tesco is a modern service echoing traditional methods of delivery while acknowledging the environmental benefits of reusable containers.

Terracycle company Loop professionally cleans all the packaging returned by customers and it is then refilled by the participating manufacturers.

“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,” Bolton noted.

“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.”

Tesco’s 4R packaging plan is to ultimately remove all non-recyclable and hard to recycle materials, altough where it can’t remove such material it promises to reduce it to an absolute minimum. As part of the initiative, Tesco says it will also explore new opportunities to reuse packaging, and if it can’t, then ensure it is all recycled as part of a closed loop process.

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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