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Tesco shoppers check out ground-breaking reuse scheme

Stratford shoppers are some of the first in the country to try out a ground-breaking packaging reuse scheme, designed to reduce waste and help the planet.

Tesco Loop (51345738)
Tesco Loop (51345738)

The idea of reusing packaging is not a new one, many will have memories of returning milk or beer bottles to get their deposit back in years gone by.

However, a drive for convenience has seen disposable waste packaging soar over many years, a hugely damaging trend for the environment.

Things might be about to change for the better though with supermarket giant Tesco teaming up a company called Loop to enable customers to buy products in packaging that can be returned, cleaned, refilled and used again.

This week Stratford’s Tesco on Birmingham Road became one of ten stores across the country to pioneer the scheme, with the hope being that it will be rolled out to even more later on.

Eighty-eight products, including popular brands such as Persil, Tetley Tea, Heinz Ketchup and a number of Tesco own brand items, will now be offered in reusable packaging, in their own dedicated section of the store.

Prices for these items are comparable to the regular packaged items and there is a small deposit refunded when the packaging is returned.

The packaging is then professionally cleaned before being refilled and put back on the shelves.

Tesco said the impact of switching just three items in the weekly shop could be massive.

If customers in the ten stores switched their recyclable tomato ketchup, cola and washing up liquid bottles to the reusable Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Coca Cola and Ecover alternatives, the packaging would be used and reused more than two and a half million times a year.

To help customers include Loop products in their shop, Loop ambassadors will be on hand to explain what the scheme is about and how it works.

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO, said: “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers.

“Bringing Loop to our stores is a significant milestone in this journey. With 88 everyday products available, we’re giving customers a wide range of options and we’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

The scheme might not solve all our waste problems, but it is seen as a step in the right direction and the hope is that even more Tesco products will soon be available in reusable packaging.

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