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September 14, 2021

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UK’s Tesco launches reusable trial

Britain’s biggest supermarket group Tesco launched a trial yesterday that allows customers to buy food, drink, household and beauty products in reusable packaging, part of its strategy to cut plastic waste.

Britons have become increasingly aware of the amount of plastic they use in recent years, with television documentaries such as naturalist David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” particularly highlighting the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life.

In response, supermarket chains and consumer goods groups are increasingly testing refills in a drive to cut single-use plastics.

Through a partnership with Loop, the global reusable packaging platform, customers in 10 Tesco stores in eastern England will be able to buy products in reusable packaging that can be returned to stores when finished so they can be cleaned, refilled and used again.

A range of 88 products will be offered, including brands such as Unilever’s Persil laundry detergent and Radox shower gel, PZ Cussons’ Carex handwash, Fevertree drinks, Heinz ketchup, Coca Cola, Tetley Tea and Brewdog beer, as well as 35 Tesco own-brand essentials, such as pasta, rice, sugar and oil.

In June, Asda, Britain’s third-biggest grocer, extended its trial of a refill scheme after sales of several products in an initial pilot store outsold packaged alternatives. Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose have also been trailing similar concepts.

Tesco said it will add more products and the trial would be scaled-up if successful.

“We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers,” said Tesco Chief Executive Ken Murphy. “We’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

Tesco said prices for the contents of each item are comparable to the original. A fully refundable deposit starting at 50 pence (70 US cents) is paid on each reusable product at checkout.




 

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