1 November 2019

Woolworths to start reusable container scheme to reduce shopping waste

| Lachlan Roberts
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Woolworths Belconnen

A Woolworths spokesperson said it was too early to say which supermarkets will take part in the trial. Photo: Westfield Belconnen.

Woolworths supermarkets in Canberra are set to join a national trial that will allow their customers to purchase their favourite products in reusable containers, rather than single-use plastic packaging.

Customers will be able to receive products in reusable containers, delivered right to their doors. Commonly used products such as washing detergent, shampoo, juice or ice cream will be sold in customised, brand-specific, durable packaging that is delivered in a reusable shipping tote.

When finished, the empty containers are picked up from home or can be dropped back at a nearby Woolworths store before being cleaned, refilled and reused – creating a circular shopping system.

The scheme, called Loop, will be trialled in supermarkets before a full launch in 2021.

A Woolworths spokesperson said it was too early to say which Canberra Woolworths supermarkets may take part in the trial or the full launch.

An initiative from TerraCycle, Loop partners with brands and retailers to shift from a disposable to durable supply chain, and enable consumers to shop for a wide range of everyday products from trusted brands in durable and reusable packaging.

Woolworths will become the first Australian retailer to use Loop, which has already inked deals with companies like PepsiCo and Nestle.

Woolworths general manager of sustainability Alex Holt said Loop aims to tackle plastic waste in Australia by finding solutions for ‘difficult to recycle’ packaging and products.

“Our customers are increasingly telling us they want products that are good for them, and good for the planet,” Mr Holt said. “We are pleased to be working with innovative partners to lead the way in offering new and cutting-edge solutions to cut down on plastic waste.

“Helping bring Loop to Australia is a further step in our long-term ambition to reduce our impact on the environment and support a circular economy.”

Having already launched in New York and Paris in May, Loop is currently expanding to markets in the UK, Canada, Germany, Japan and now Australia to become a global movement.

Launching the Loop partnership in Sydney, Federal Minister for Industry Karen Andrews praised Woolworths for showing the initiative to embrace a recycling solution that will significantly reduce its waste packaging.

“It is vitally important that both governments and the private sector play their part in reducing waste and embracing recycling solutions,” Ms Andrews said. “I look forward to other businesses adopting similar initiatives.”

Customers can register their interest to be involved in the initial Loop trial by clicking here. Supplier partners looking to participate should also get in touch with their relevant business partner within Woolworths.

The Loop process

How the Loop lifecycle works. Image: Loop website.

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canberrascout2:32 pm 06 Nov 19

How a bout the govt allow Woolworths in inner Canberra Kingston area. Coles has a monopoly in Manuka so I don’t see them changing their ways to catch up.

A ridiculous idea that is totally unsustainable because it is economically unviable. You will be paying a cost for the tote bag and you will have limited choice of only those products that are delivered by the Loop organisation. These products are selected by Loop so each product will be higher priced than if you were to source them yourselves. Product choices will be reduced and consumers will resist having their homes filled with Loop approved and shaped products sourced from Loop selected companies. In addition to the regular cost of the item, customers must put down a fully refundable deposit for each package. There are costs (fuel/transport/wages) of collecting the empty products and Loop bags from houses all over the city and then cleaning and refilling them. You will pay for this collection service by way of higher priced products. Woolworths wins by a license fee with Loop, Loop wins by charging its partner companies. Consumers lose from high priced products. The environment loses because of additional resources consumed in the production and delivery process of this whole silly idea. Is Loop some sort of feel-good non-profit Greenie concept? No it is a business idea from Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondel?z International and others. Why is it that people are so naive and gullible? Product packaging can and should be reduced, but not this way.

Savings for Woolworths. Good, now they can pay their workers their entitled wages

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