“Loop” is an innovative e-commerce platform that provides your favourite products redesigned for a waste-free shopping experience.
Shop for trusted brands now redesigned to be smarter and waste-free
After years of planning and testing, TerraCycle, the innovative recycling company, has unveiled what it believes will be a revolutionary change in packaging—“Loop”—Debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the new shopping system is the first of its kind to offer hundreds of name brand products in reusable and refillable packaging. When you’re done, you ship the empty container back, where it gets cleaned, sterilised and reused for the next customer.
Big brands team up to revisit the milkman model in bid to cut plastic pollution
Major packaged goods sellers and retailers, under pressure to cut the flow of single-use plastic bottles and containers clogging the world’s waterways, have teamed with recycling and shipping firms on an e-commerce service that puts a twist on the old-fashioned milkman.
The initiative, called Loop, was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. It will deliver products such as orange juice, shampoo and laundry detergent in reusable glass and metal bottles to shopper doorsteps and retrieves the empties for cleaning and reuse.
Launch partners include recycling firm and Loop parent TerraCycle; shipper United Parcel Service Inc (UPS); consumer packaged goods sellers Procter & Gamble Co, Unilever Plc, PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola European Partners Plc; and retailers Carrefour and Tesco Plc.
The service will launch in May with projects in Paris and the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area. A UK program is also planned for later in 2019, with Toronto, Tokyo and California to follow in 2020.
The Loop ethos as described by founder Tom Szaky —
"We realized that recycling and using recycled content is about trying to do the best you can with waste, but it’s not solving the foundational reason we have waste. We did a lot of reflection on that and realized that the foundational cause of garbage is disposability and single-use. We tried to come up with a way to solve for disposability but maintain the virtues of disposability, which are convenience and affordability."
How Loop works
Users order products online and put down fully refundable deposits for the reusable packaging. They can wipe out shipping fees of $15-$20 (€13.11–€17.50) by including about seven items in their order, said Tom Szaky, chief executive of recycling firm and Loop parent company TerraCycle.
Government bans on products such as single-use plastic water bottles, shopping bags and polystyrene cups have sent retailers and consumer goods companies searching for solutions.
- Loop’s Paris retail partner Carrefour will test and adjust the program ahead of the official launch.
- PepsiCo will start a 5,000-household Paris project with Tropicana orange juice in glass bottles and Quaker Chocolate Cruesli cereal in steel containers.
- Nestlé has designed a stainless-steel Haagen-Dazs ice cream container designed for Loop’s New York-area project.
- Procter & Gamble’s Loop contributions include Tide purclean laundry detergent in stainless steel bottles and Pampers diaper recycling.
Loop’s refundable deposits in Europe range from 0.25 euros for a Coca-Cola 200 ml bottle to 47 euros ($53.50) for Pampers recycling, TerraCycle said.
At present it is unclear exactly what the footprint of the delivery service will be, but it is expected they will release more details on how they intend to do this with the minimum possible environmental impact.
What we do know at this stage, based on life-cycle assessments, is that consumers would need to reorder products upward of five times for the environmental effects to even out. Watching how many repeat participants Loop can attract during the trials, and at what scale, will be key to tracking its progress in this area.
However, UPS, which is partnering on the initial pilot to both deliver orders and pick up totes of empty containers, says that the system fits into its existing operations. “If you think of a typical day for a package-car driver, that driver will leave the building in the morning with a full package car,” Patrick Browne, global director of sustainability at UPS, told FastCompany.com. “As he’s going throughout the day delivering, on a very engineered route to reduce miles, at the same time, he’s picking up packages. So the effect is that driver leaves full and comes home full.”
Check out the products and packaging at The Loopstore on Instagram
RESERVE YOUR SPOT IN LINE AT THE LOOPSTORE
Loop is launching in Spring 2019 in the United States and France. Join us as we change the world from disposable to durable -click to register and join the waitlist.