Retailers around the world are ramping up plans to introduce TerraCycle’s refillable packaging platform, Loop, in their stores over the next year.
Loop is modeled on a “milkman” style system: customers purchase products such as Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Seventh Generation detergent in reusable containers for which they pay a refundable packaging deposit. They then return the empty containers to the store, which collects them for cleaning and reuse, and receive their deposit back. The deposit fee ranges from $1 to $10, depending on the container size and material.
To collect used containers in stores, Loop has developed two types of receptacle: “the smart bin, which can scan empty containers and refund deposits right away, and the analog passive bin, which sends refunds to customers’ bank accounts once their deposit has made it to a central Loop cleaning center.”
Among the retailers planning to introduce the Loop system in the coming year are Kroger, Co. in the U.S., Tesco PLC in the U.K., Carrefour SA in France, and Aeon Co. in Japan.
TerraCycle has developed reusable packaging for 400 products, but has so far only sold them through the internet.