Tesco has partnered with TerraCycle to trial a zero-waste platform called Loop. Customers purchase food, drink, health, beauty and cleaning products for which they pay a deposit for packing that is refunded when they return the product containers.
DPD picks up the packing from the customer’s home or at drop-off points. The courier DHL has reserved warehouse space for TerraCycle to clean the containers which are then sent back to the manufacturers, who refill them.
The Loop system is active in the USA and France and was supposed to be launched in the UK in March, but has since been postponed due to Covid-19.
Tesco aims to remove at least one billion plastic items from the products it sells in the UK by the end of 2020. Other supermarkets have announced that they will be trialling refill schemes soon.
For non-supermarket retailers, it is probably not financially practical to accept returned packing. To store the packaging, extra equipment needs to be purchased from a warehouse storage racks supplier and staff employed to sort the returned packing.
While not yet accepting returned packaging from customers, online sports retailer Surfdome has partnered with Patagonia, the outdoor clothing manufacturer, in a trial to recycle plastic packing. 99.81% of Surfdome orders are dispatched without plastic packaging but many manufacturers protect their clothes in poly bags so that they safely arrive at the warehouse. Surfdome is removing the poly bags before sending Patagonia garments to customers. They send all the removed poly bags to a recycling collection point.Get a free quote