Zero-waste shopping service to arrive in select Tesco stores

Customers can now opt to buy their favourite products in refillable packaging, which can be reused at least 10 times

Celine Wadhera
Monday 13 September 2021 11:12
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<p>One of Tesco’s new Reuse return stations, powered by Loop</p>

One of Tesco’s new Reuse return stations, powered by Loop

Tesco customers will now be able to buy refillable, zero-waste versions of products across stores in England.

Following a year-long online pilot programme, the grocery giant moving its online-only zero-waste shopping services into 10 stores in eastern England. Customers will now be able to purchase everyday products ranging from cola to washing-up liquid in sustainable, reusable packaging that can be cleaned, refilled and used again and again.

The refillable products are part of an initiative called Loop, which is a spin-off of waste-management company TerraCycle and bills itself as a “zero-waste shopping platform”.

Over the past year, Tesco customers could order and return products in reusable packaging to and from their doorstep.

Included in the range of 88 products were familiar brands including Bisto, Brewdog, Bulldog, Carex, Coca-Cola, Ecover, Fever Tree, Finish, Good4U, Heinz, Mud House, Naked Noodle, Original Source, Persil, Quaker Oats, Radox, Simple, Sipsmiths and Tetley.

Around 35 Tesco-brand essentials such as pasta, rice, oil and sugar, were also included in the range, which is expected to expand throughout the year.

The service will now be available in 10 stores, where customers can visit Loop fixtures and add products they want into their cart as part of their regular grocery shop.

Customers wishing to partake will have to pay a deposit, ranging from 20p to £5 for the reusable packaging which will be refunded via an app when the empty item is returned through a “Reuse return station” in the store.

Loop then sorts and professionally cleans the packaging, ensuring that everything is up to health and safety standards before it is returned to the manufacturer where it can be refilled a minimum of 10 times.

The companies say that if customers in the 10 stores were to switch from their recyclable cola, washing up liquid and ketchup bottles to Loop’s refillable ones, the packaging would be used and reused more than 2.5 million times a year.

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

“Bringing Loop to our stores is a significant milestone in this journey. With 88 everyday products available, we’re giving customers a wide range of options and we’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

The founder and chief executive of TerraCycle and Loop, Tom Szaky, 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 and reuse across more stores and the number of product lines available”.

Loop is also available in grocery chains internationally, across France, Japan, Canada and The US, with further expansion slated for Australia and Germany.

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