TerraCycle's pioneering approach to slashing packaging waste has arrived in the United Kingdom after several months of delay with the official launch of innovative shopping platform Loop in partnership with Tesco.
Loop brings together a host of leading consumer brands to enable consumers to order a wide range of everyday products in durable packaging that is then returned and reused rather than binned.
Products including beverages, sauces, yogurt, shampoo, soaps, moisturizer, toothpaste and washing detergent are delivered to customers in a branded tote bag, with a deposit charged on each piece of packaging. The deposit is then fully refunded on the return of the packaging, either via scheduled pick-up from home — which can be aligned with the next delivery — or via drop-off at one of 2,500 DPD collection points across the U.K.
Loop first launched in Europe as a pilot project in Paris in May 2019, in partnership with retailer Carrefour and backed by a rollcall of leading consumer goods manufacturers including Unilever, Coca-Cola and Mondelez. Detergent brands Cascade and Tide joined a few months later. The early success of Loop's packaging re-use model drew widespread attention, and five months later media giant Sky invested $2 million in the scheme, as part of its commitment to tackle the impact of single-use packaging on the world's oceans.
This year, more brands are being added to the service on a weekly basis, the company said, with current bestsellers in the U.S. including Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Clorox wipes. In the U.K., products including Heinz Tomato Ketchup and BrewDog beer have joined the roster.
"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," said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle.
Tesco said it has partnered with Loop as part of its "4R strategy" to remove, reduce, reuse and recycle packaging, and is keen to explore how a shopping service using reusable packaging can work in the U.K.
"Our ground-breaking partnership with Loop has been designed to test a new way of helping customers use less plastic and explore the exciting potential of reuse," said Tesco Group CEO Dave Lewis. "We will learn what works at scale as we develop plans with Loop to introduce reusable packaging into our business."