Loop, TerraCycle’s zero waste shopping platform, has officially launched its UK pilot e-commerce programme with Tesco as its UK retail partner.

Via Loop, UK consumers can order and consume a wide variety of products like beverages, sauces, yogurt, shampoo, soaps, moisturiser, toothpaste, and washing detergent in customized, brand-specific refillable packaging.

When they order via the Loop website, consumers pay a deposit fee on each piece of packaging, which is then fully refunded to them upon the final return of the packaging.

After use, consumers place the empty containers back into their Loop tote and then have a variety of return options - go online to schedule a pick up from their home (which can be combined with their next delivery) or drop off the tote and empty packaging at a DPD collection point. 

Loop then sorts and professionally cleans the packaging and tote bag so that each product can be refilled by the manufacturer. Cleaned and refilled products are simultaneously replenished as needed to the consumer.

Both large and small brands will be taking part in the scheme, including Heinz, Coca-Cola, Unilever, RB, and Brewdog.

UK retailer Tesco has partnered with Loop as a part of its “4R: Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” strategy, in the hopes of learning more about how a shopping service using reusable packaging can work in the UK. Tesco has supported the project with its expertise in online shopping and network of suppliers, and will be inviting customers to test the service.

Both companies will work together with a view of making products in reusable packaging available at Tesco’s stores in 2021.

Dave Lewis, Tesco Group CEO says: “Through our closed-loop strategy of Remove, Reduce, Reuse 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 reuse. We will learn what works at scale as we develop plans with Loop to introduce reusable packaging into our business.”

"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 the single-use consumption of today,” adds Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle.

"Tesco is the perfect partner to bring Loop to retail in the UK due to its commitment to sustainability, in combating plastics waste, and its operational scale as the UK’s biggest grocery retailer.”

Ecolab Inc has embedded its cleaning technologies in selected DHL warehouse operations and will handle the cleaning and sanitization operations of Loop’s durable containers and provide all necessary equipment, chemistry, standard operating procedures, staff and management.

DHL will support Loop’s warehousing, fulfilment, and returned deposit scanning, and process all cleaned containers for distribution back to consumer product manufacturers.