Meet Loop, Your New Milkman from the Circular Economy

source: Washington Post

Some of the world's biggest wholesalers and retailers teamed up to respond to the public pressure to decrease the use of plastic bottles and containers. Their joint initiative called Loop has been presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The innovative service will deliver consumers products in tailor-made, durable packaging to be collected back for reuse.

The co-founders include the recycling company TerraCycle, United Parcel Service Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever Plc, PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola European Partners Plc., as well as the retailers Carrefour and Tesco Plc. 

Loop will first start in May as a pilot in Paris and the surrounding areas, and the region of New York, including some parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The UK will welcome it in 2019, while Toronto, Tokyo, and California will join in two years. How does it work in practice?

You can order goods either from the Loop website or that of its partners. You get home delivery, like any other online purchase. The difference here is that you need to pre-pay for a package, designed for 100+ use-cycles. Once you run out of the product, you place the container in a specially designed bag for pick up. Later on, it will be possible to bring them directly to the retailer. It is up to you to decide whether to have the product replenished or to get your deposit back. The empty packages go to a facility for cleaning and refilling.

The European partners of the project, Carrefour and Tesco have now been preparing to introduce Loop products in their stores, where the clients will be able to return their empties in a QR-embedded Loop container.

PepsiCo confirmed it would provide Tropicana orange juice in glass bottles and Quaker Chocolate Cruesli in steel containers for the project in Paris. In addition to that, Procter & Gamble would deliver Tide detergent in stainless steel bottle as well as Pampers diaper recycling. As a part of the initiative, Unilever announced plans for new reusable packaging made from glass or aluminum, for nine of its brands, including Hellman's, REN Clean Skincare, Love Beauty and Planet, and Seventh Generation.

The news came right after the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in Davos presented a report pointing out the environmental damage being caused by the global food production. At the same time, another study by the Circular Economy Group found out that only nine percent of the raw materials extracted worldwide are being re-used or recycled.

Considering the environmental damages, would you pay a deposit for Loop?