A coalition of consumer product companies, and recycling firm TerraCycle, have unveiled a shopping system called Loop, which offers an enhanced circular solution to packaging waste for consumers.
The initiative was designed to change the world’s reliance on single-use packaging, while securing environmental benefits.
Loop will aim to allow customers to responsibly consume various products in customised, brand-specific durable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and reused. The content, if recoverable, will also be either recycled or reused.
The idea for Loop was founded at the World Economic Forum by TerraCycle and consumer product firms: Procter & Gamble, Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars Petcare, The Clorox Company, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola European Partners, Mondelēz International, Danone, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lesieur, BIC, Beiersdorf, RB, People Against Dirty, Nature’s Path, Thousand Fell, Greenhouse, Grilliance, Burlap & Barrel Single Origin Spices, Reinberger Nut Butter, CoZie and Preserve.
Other partners are food retailer Carrefour, UK retailer Tesco, which is to pilot the Loop later this year, logistics firm UPS and resource management company Suez.
This approach to shopping was the result of innovation investments made by the founding partners and their commitment to developing circular supply chains from packaging design to manufacturing through to consumer use.
The aim was to offer a zero-waste option for products while keeping affordability, convenience and returning used disposable or durable items to a circular life cycle through reuse or recycling.
Environmental benefits of Loop compared to single-use packaging have been proven by the companies and verified in Life Cycle Assessments under pattern assumptions that will be validated in pilot schemes in the spring in France and north-eastern United States.
Additional markets are expected to launch throughout 2019 and 2020.
TerraCycle founder and chief executive Tom Szaky said: “As a response to the global challenge in managing waste and the opportunity to improve consumers’ experience, a group of committed global brands, retailers, infrastructure companies, along with the World Economic Forum have come together to create a new way to more responsibly consume products.
“Loop will not just eliminate the idea of packaging waste, but greatly improve the product experience and the convenience in how we shop. Through Loop, consumers can now responsibly consume products in specially-designed durable, reusable or fully recyclable packaging made from materials like alloys, glass and engineered plastics. When a consumer returns the packaging, it is refilled, or the content is reused or recycled through ground-breaking technology.”
How Loop works:
- Shop – Consumers will go to the Loop websites or Loop partner retailer’s websites and shop for trusted brands now designed to be packaging waste-free
- Receive – Consumers receive their products in Loop’s shipping tote that eliminates the need for single-use shipping materials
- Enjoy – Consumers use the products
- Pick up – As consumers finish the products, they place the empty package into one of their Loop totes to be picked up directly from their home
- Clean – Loop’s team of scientists have created custom cleaning technology so each product can be safely reused
- Refill, recycle or reuse – Loop fills the products and returns the item and shipping tote to the consumer. If there is recoverable used product such as nappies, razors, pads or brush parts, they will be recovered to be recycled or reused.