Asda's In-Store Soap Dispensers Aim to Cut Packaging Waste to Zero

Asda's In-Store Soap Dispensers Aim to Cut Packaging Waste to Zero

 Adsa is looking to team up with a leading detergent brand to install liquid dispensing machines across its stores in a bid to cut down on packaging and save money.

The Walmart-owned supermarket chain has just completed a nine-month trial of a dispensing technology designed by Eziserv in five of its stores, backed by the government's Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Asda's own-brand fabric conditioner was piped from 1,000-litre reusable containers located in the back of the store, via overhead pipes, to a dispensing point in the retail aisle. Customers then bought the concentrated fabric conditioner in reusable pouches.

A spokesperson from WRAP declined to share the results of Asda's initial trial, saying they will be released in full next month.

However, WRAP insists benefits include lower transport and operating costs, less packaging and the potential to free up sales space in shops.

An Asda spokeswoman told BusinessGreen that the retailer is now seeking to partner with "a leading detergent manufacturer" and roll the system out in stores nationwide.

However, she declined to disclose the name of the potential partner and said it was "too early" to say how many stores would use the system.

"It really depends on how talks go with manufacturers," she said. "But this is really about taking it to the next stage and we hope to reveal all early next year."

She insisted the initial trial had a positive outcome and had enabled Asda to tackle teething problems with the system, such as an initial lack of employee and customer engagement, and the need to establish an appropriate price for the product.

The system had also been "quite messy" at first, she admitted, "but that's the whole point of the trial – we're the first retailer to do this, and it's quite different."

WRAP director of retail Richard Swannell said the agency is now working with other retailers to extend the use of Eziserv's system.

"This shows how we can work together, pool expertise and demonstrate the viability of new technology before passing the baton on to business to take forward," he said. "We are also talking to others in the retail sector about the opportunities for reusable packaging in relation to products ranging from laundry products to paint to deliver further cost and environmental benefits."

This article originally appeared at BusinessGreen.com and is reprinted with permission.