Tesco & Loop join forces to trial zero-waste online shopping service

Posted on 16 Jul 2020 by James Devonshire

Supermarket giant Tesco and zero-waste shopping platform Loop have joined forces to offer the UK’s first ever refillable container trial.

Through the Loop UK online store — loopstore.co.uk — customers can order a variety of products (around 150 initially), all of which will be delivered in reusable containers. Heinz, Coca Cola, Unilever, Danone and Nivea are among the brands already available on the platform.

Every time a customer places an order on Loop, they pay a deposit on each piece of packaging. This deposit fee is then refunded once the customer has returned the container(s). 

To return the packaging, customers fill out an online form requesting that the reusable containers be picked up. Alternatively, customers can drop containers off at one of DPD’s 2,500 collection points across the UK.

TerraCycle, Loop’s parent company, then receives the used packaging and thoroughly cleans it so that it can be safely reused by the manufacturer.

Loop’s launch was delayed due to COVID-19

Loop was originally due to launch back in March, but the decision was taken to push this back because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to its UK launch, Loop has been operating in Paris and New York, and has reportedly witnessed double-digit growth in those markets during the Coronavirus crisis.

Further expansion in Canada, Japan and Australia is scheduled for later this year and early 2021.

Depending on the success of the online service, reusable containers could be a feature of physical Tesco stores by as early as 2021.

Tesco Group chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Through our closed loop strategy of remove, reduce, re-use and recycle, Tesco has a clear ambition to reduce packaging.

“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 re-use.

“We will learn what works at scale as we develop plans with Loop to introduce reusable packaging into our business”.

*Header image courtesy of TerraCycle