Tesco has launched a new system that allows its customers to buy a wide range of food, drink, household and beauty products in reusable and durable packaging.
In partnership with global reusable packaging platform, Loop, customers in ten large Tesco stores in the east of England will be able to buy products in reusable packaging that can be returned to store when finished “so it can be cleaned, refilled and used again”.
The new reusable range of 88 products will include some of the UK’s biggest and most popular brands, including Persil, Fever-Tree, Carex, Tetley Tea and BrewDog. Tesco has included 35 own brand essentials in the range, such as pasta, rice, oil and sugar, with more products set to be added to the range throughout the year.
Customers wishing to opt for reusable packaging simply visit the Loop fixture in the store and add the products they want into their trolley as a part of their shop. “The Loop range comes ready prefilled in the perfect container for that product, so there’s no need for customers to bring their own containers or refill themselves,” says an announcement from the group.
Prices for the contents of each item are seemingly comparable to the original. A fully refundable deposit starting at £0.50 is paid on each reusable product at checkout and this is refunded via an app when the customer returns the packaging to a collection point in the store.
Tesco says the impact of switching just three items of the weekly shop could be enormous: if customers in the 10 stores switched their recyclable tomato ketchup, cola and washing up liquid bottles to the reusable Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Coca Cola and Ecover alternatives, the packaging would be used and reused more than two and a half million times a year.
To help customers include Loop products in their shop, Loop Ambassadors will be on hand to explain what Loop is and how it works.
Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO, said: “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers. Bringing Loop to our stores is a significant milestone in this journey. With 88 everyday products available, we’re giving customers a wide range of options and we’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”
Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle, said: “The consumer reaction to Loop in these first Tesco stores will prove pivotal in refining the Loop offering and ultimately we hope to scale reuse across more stores and the number of product lines available. Tesco is the perfect partner to bring Loop to retail in the UK due to its commitment to sustainability, in combating plastics waste and in its operational scale as the UK’s biggest grocery retailer.”
Tesco says it is tackling the impact of plastic waste through its 4Rs strategy – “to remove plastic where we can, reduce it where we can’t, reuse more and recycle what’s left”.
Since the inception of the strategy in 2019, Tesco says it has removed a billion pieces of plastic from its UK business, and aims to remove a further half a billion this year. Tesco has additionally “reduced the materials used each year in its packaging by more than 2000 tonnes and recently launched new soft plastic recycling facilities across all large stores”.
The launch of Loop in Tesco stores follows a yearlong online pilot, launched in July 2020, that allowed customers to order and return products in reusable packaging to and from their doorstep. The full list of brands available in store at launch are: Alberto Balsam, Bisto, Brewdog, Bulldog, Carex, Coca Cola, Dr Will’s, Ecover, Fever-Tree, Finish, Good4U, Hardys, Mackays, Heinz, Meridian, Mud House, Naked Noodle, Original Source, Persil, Quaker Oats, Radox, Simple, Sipsmiths and Tetley.