Loop, a first-of-its-kind circular shopping system created by TerraCycle in partnership with major retailers and brands, on May 21 officially launched its pilot program in the Mid-Atlantic region of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. To celebrate the launch, TerraCycle and Loop’s retail and brand partners held a press conference and reception at the World Economic Forum in New York City.
Loop, which was first announced at the World Economic Forum in January, aims to change the world’s reliance on single-use packaging, offer a convenient and enhanced circular solution to consumers and secure meaningful environmental benefits. The system, which also recently launched in Paris and will continue to roll out to more markets throughout 2019 and 2020, will enable customers to responsibly consume a range of products in customized, brand-specific, durable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and reused. The content, if recoverable, also will be either recycled or reused.
“Loop is very much an engine for retailers to be able to enable a durable supply chain, and it’s an engine for brands to be able to enable durable versions of their products,” Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO and president and a 2019 Waste360 40 Under 40 award recipient, told Waste360.
"Loop was designed from the ground up to reinvent the way we consume by leveraging the sustainable, circular milkman model of yesterday with the convenience of e-commerce,” added Szaky. “TerraCycle came together with dozens of major consumer product companies [including] P&G, Nestlé and Unilever, the World Economic Forum Future of Consumption Platform, logistics and transportation company UPS and leading retailers Kroger and Walgreens to create a simple and convenient way to enjoy a wide range of products customized in brand-specific, durable and reusable packaging."
At the press conference, Szaky announced that The Kroger Co. and Walgreens are the founding retailers of Loop in the U.S.
"Kroger's commitment to embrace innovation on our path to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste aligns perfectly with Loop's mission to create a convenient circular packaging solution for consumers," said Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs at Kroger, in a statement. "We believe in giving our customers sustainable packaging choices they can feel good about. As the exclusive grocery retail partner for Loop in the United States, Kroger is taking another big step toward a world with zero waste."
"Walgreens is excited about this opportunity to help consumers purchase sustainably packaged products and contribute to a healthier planet," said Lauren Brindley, group vice president of beauty and personal care at Walgreens, in a statement. "Innovative collaborations with partners like Loop are critical to solving the complex issue of reducing single-use plastics. Our customers look to us to innovate so that together we can reduce waste and increase reuse."
In addition to Kroger and Walgreens, RB, a global health and hygiene company and maker of consumer brands including Airborne, Move Free, MegaRed and Neuriva, and Reinberger Nut Butter, a company that offers sustainable nut butters for active people, announced their involvement in Loop.
With Loop, RB aims to bring the next generation of sustainability to the world’s most well-known health products. This collaboration with Loop also further advances RB’s global commitment to make 100 percent of product packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
“Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of RB’s corporate strategy, so to help launch this first-of-its-kind shopping system that will allow consumers to enjoy some of their favorite RB products in a way that protects the environment is a no-brainer,” said Nitish Kapoor, executive vice president of the health business unit for RB North America, in a statement. “Reusable packaging is the future of consumption, and we’re excited to be a part of this change movement starting with Airborne, MegaRed, Move Free and Neuriva.”
Reinberger Nut Butter announced three new flavors of nut butters available through Loop: Purely Peanuts, Absolutely Almonds and Completely Cashews. Gluten, soy and palm oil free, Reinberger Nut Butter provides a healthy and quick energy boost to athletes, adventure lovers and everyone in between.
“Sustainability is a key ingredient in the ethos of our company,” said Joseph Berger, co-founder of Reinberger Nut Butter, in a statement. “We believe climate change is the main challenge of this century, and we believe that we can be a part of the solution. Maybe we’re nuts, but we think Loop’s aim of creating a cycle where containers can be used over and over again will reduce the amount of plastic in our seas and the amount of waste in our society.”
A list of other brands and retailers that are partnering with Loop can be found on Loop’s website.
In addition to the launch of the platform, Loop announced a real estate partnership with Brookfield Properties to offer the shopping platform first in New York as an amenity to employees at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan and then to residents at One Blue Slip at Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn.
“Loop is not just about circular economy; it’s about the future of how we consume,” said Szaky. “In the future, products should be better, more convenient and more affordable, and the idea of waste simply shouldn’t exist … We aim to do that with Loop and with the help of numerous retail and brand partners.”
Flip through this gallery to view images from Loop’s press conference and reception.