Tesco's Loop refillable packaging partnership comes to stores

Reusable packaging: Tesco brings Loop service into ten stores

Tesco’s reusable packaging platform partner, Loop, will be launched in ten Tesco stores this week.

It means shoppers in these large Tesco shops – all based in the east of England – will be able to buy products in reusable packaging that can be returned to store when finished to be cleaned, refilled and used again.

The new reusable packaging range of 88 products will include big brands such as Persil, Fever-Tree, Carex, Tetley Tea and Brewdog. Tesco has also included 35 own brand essentials in the range, including pasta, rice, oil and sugar – and more will be added to the range throughout the year.

Customers wishing to opt for reusable packaging should visit the Loop fixture in the store and add the products they want into their trolley as a part of their shop. The Loop range comes ready prefilled, meaning customers do not need their own containers.

A fully refundable deposit starting at £0.20 is paid on each reusable packaging product at checkout. This fee is refunded when the customer returns the packaging to a collection point in the store.

Tesco claimed the impact of switching just three items of the weekly shop “could be enormous”, saying if customers in the ten stores switched their recyclable tomato ketchup, cola and washing up liquid bottles to the reusable Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Coca-Cola and Ecover alternatives, it would result in packaging being reused more than two and a half million times a year.

Tesco’s stores introducing Loop this week are, as follows:

  • Milton Keynes Kingston
  • Northampton South
  • Cambridge Newmarket Road
  • Wellingborough
  • Milton Keynes Wolverton
  • Evesham
  • Leicester Hamilton
  • Stratford Upon Avon
  • Ashby De La Zouch
  • Loughborough Rushes

Ken Murphy, Tesco CEO, said: “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers.”

He added: “We’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

Tom Szaky, founder & CEO of Loop and the service’s parent company, TerraCycle, said: “The consumer reaction to Loop in these first Tesco stores will prove pivotal in refining the Loop offering and ultimately we hope to scale reuse across more stores and the number of product lines available.”

Tesco said special ambassadors will be deployed in store to explain how the Loop service works.

The launch of Loop in Tesco stores follows a year-long online pilot, launched in July 2020, that allowed customers to order and return products in reusable packaging to and from their doorstep.

The full list of brands available via Loop in store at launch are, as follows:

  • Alberto Balsam
  • Bisto
  • Brewdog
  • Bulldog Skincare
  • Carex
  • Coca-Cola
  • Dr Will’s
  • Ecover
  • Fever-Tree
  • Finish
  • Good4U
  • Hardys
  • Mackays
  • Heinz
  • Meridian
  • Mud House
  • Naked Noodle
  • Original Source
  • Persil
  • Quaker Oats
  • Radox
  • Simple
  • Sipsmith
  • Tetley

How the service works

  • Once a Loop item has been purchased, the customer needs to download the ‘Loop deposit’ app to register their details
  • When they do their next shop, the customer brings back the empty containers
  • At the store, the customer collects a QR sticker from the Loop return point and sticks it on to the container before scanning it using the Loop app on their phone
  • The empty containers are then placed in the Loop return point
  • Loop will collect the container and refund the deposit back to the customer via the app in three to six days

Shoppers will also have the option of buying a Loop bag with a QR code on it to make returning large numbers of containers easier and quicker, according to Tesco.

The returned packaging is cleaned by Ecolab, while DHL will support Loop’s warehousing, fulfilment, returned deposit scanning and process all cleaned containers for distribution back to consumer product manufacturers.

Read more about Tesco’s green thinking on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Image ©Licensed to Parsons Media. 24/08/2021. Merchandising Centre, Welwyn, Herts, United Kingdom. Tesco Loop photography at Tesco Merchandising Centre, Welwyn, Herts, UK. Picture by Ben Stevens / Parsons Media]

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