A year after it launched, Loop, the delivery service that takes back its packaging to be reused, is expanding in the UK market; to deliver food, drink and household essentials from leading brands. The company is already established in the US and France and due to be rolled out to Japan, Australia and Canada next year.

The system is designed to be simple for consumers; in theory, nearly as easy as buying something in a disposable package and throwing that package in the trash, according to the company.

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Consumer demand for products that contribute to less plastic waste is growing; a poll conducted by Populus revealed that 91% of the UK supports the idea of having products free of plastic packaging. It appears that the mounting evidence documenting the negative implications of plastic waste has changed the way consumers think, placing pressure on fast food chains and the industry as a whole to adapt to consumer demands.

The UK Government has earmarked £61.4m ($76m) from the public purse to fight ocean plastic. The issue of plastic waste caused public outcry after the BBC series Blue Planet II, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, highlighted the scale of the problem. While the majority of plastic waste has been dumped in landfill, a substantial amount has been flooded into the world’s oceans. More than eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans each year and most of that escapes from land.

The company has the backing of formidable players

Loop is backed by major consumer goods companies such as Unilever and PepsiCo, who have created eco-versions of popular brands, including Coca-Cola, Heinz and Persil, to sell via the website. Customers can place online orders for goods that will be delivered instead in durable, refillable containers that can be collected from the doorstep and cleaned for reuse up to 100 times.

Heinz’s tomato ketchup, for example, will be delivered in its patented glass octagonal bottles. In a bid to increase its sustainability efforts, Kraft Heinz Europe also recently announced it is working to make the recyclable Heinz Tomato Ketchup PET plastic bottle fully circular by 2022, by using recycled material that can be made back into food-grade packaging.

Loop launches refill partnership with Tesco

In July 2020, it was announced that Loop has launched a pilot with Tesco; as a part of its ‘4R: Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ strategy. Both companies will work together with the goal of making the service available in-store at selected Tesco locations as early as 2021. Supermarkets have been trialling reuse and refill schemes after consumer concerns about the environmental impact of packaging, this partnership will provide Tesco with a competitive advantage over its rivals.