UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has enhanced its commitment to sustainability with the launch of a new trial of refillable Ecover stations.

The trial is part of the retailer’s pledge to become Net Zero across its operations by 2040.

The pilot started on 26 February in Sainsbury’s Harringay superstore and is offering refill options for selected Ecover cleaning products, including dish-washing liquid and laundry detergent. Customers can refill bottles up to 50 times.

The trial will be extended to a further 19 stores later this year. The company expects the move has the potential to replace over a million tonnes of plastic per year.

Ecover long-term innovation global head Tom Domen said: “As manufacturers, we believe we need to totally re-think plastic – how we make it, use it, re-use it and recycle it.

“At Ecover, we want to challenge the idea of single-use packaging and our disposable culture. This partnership with Sainsbury’s is an important step in kick-starting a ‘refillution’ in the UK and realising our goal of making refills more accessible for everyone.”

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The refillable Ecover trial is the latest in a series of store initiatives launched by the retailer to reduce, reuse or replace plastic across its operations.

Last month, the retailer committed to become Net Zero by 2040 through various measures including recycling, plastic packaging, carbon reduction and others.

In September 2019, Sainsbury’s pledged a 50% reduction in plastic packaging across its operations by 2025, making it the first major retailer in the UK to do so.