A new zero-waste initiative supported by a coalition of major brands that uses reusable containers will launch its first pilots in New York and Paris later this year.
Companies including PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble are involved in Loop, a scheme that sees packaging for items such as ice cream, mouthwash and deodorant, picked up and sterilised before being used again, US business publication Fast Company reports.
“We run what is today the world’s largest supply chain on ocean plastic, collecting it and going into Unilever and Procter & Gamble products and so on,” Tom Szaky, who is CEO and co-founder of TerraCycle, one of the partners behind the project, said.
“But every day, more and more gets put in the ocean, so no matter how much we clean the ocean, we’re never going to solve the problem,”
“That’s really where Loop emerged, to us, the root cause of waste is not plastic, per se, it’s using things once, and that’s really what Loop tries to change as much as possible.”
Each package in the system is designed for 100 or more uses with consumers throwing the used items in a tote that can be picked up or dropped off at a UPS store with the package delivery company a partner in Loop.
Initially, the reusable products will be available through Loop’s website with consumers paying a deposit on the bottle, in the case of deodorant or mouthwash, during the initial purchase.
The deposit will be refunded when the packaging is returned.
Products will cost a similar amount to what customers pay now but the scheme could see packaging change for some products, namely toothpaste, to make them reusable.
Nappies will also be sold by Loop with the parts of the nappies that are recyclable to then be recycled.
Loop includes eight of the 10 companies that Greenpeace has listed as the world’s largest contributors or plastic waste.