Loblaw joins sustainable packaging program Loop

The company will make products from President's Choice and national brands available in a 2020 pilot.

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Loblaw has been announced as the founding retailer of sustainable packaging program Loop, and will bring it to Canada as a pilot in 2020.

loopcrestFirst announced earlier this year, Loop is a program from global recycling company TerraCycle, which has partnered with retailers and brands to create sustainable, reusable packaging for products in an effort to reduce waste. After placing an online order for grocery, household and personal care products, the products are delivered in a special, reusable tote. The packaging– which is designed to be specific to each brand and product – is placed back in the tote once it is used and returned to Loop for reuse. Products can be ordered for one-time use, or set to auto-refill once they are returned.

Loop and Loblaw will begin piloting the service in Canada in early 2020, beginning with the Toronto area and starting only with the Loblaws retail banner, according to a spokesperson from TerraCycle. On top of products from “select national brands,” the Canadian pilot will also feature a selection of the company’s President’s Choice private label products. TerraCycle is currently in discussions with potential third-party companies that will provide delivery for the service.

“There is too much plastic waste,” said Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited, in a press release. “Our industry is part of the problem and we can be part of the solution. Our partnership with Loop is a powerful example of entrepreneurial innovators working with like-minded large enterprise to bring a meaningful solution to a real problem.”

Some of the largest CPG companies in the world have signed on to Loop, such as P&G, Unilever, Nestle, Clorox, Hidden Valley and Nature’s Path, as well as upstart brands like Greenhouse Juice, plant-based meat company Teva Deli, ethically sourced spice brand Burlap & Barrel and Ren Skincare.

Pilots of the service launched late last month in five U.S. states, as well as Paris, through partnerships with retailers Kroger and Walgreens. Plans to pilot in the U.K., Germany and Japan are also in the works.

loophaggenThe TerraCycle spokesperson said the brands and products available in the Canadian pilot are still being decided, but products available on the U.S. website currently include things like Haagen-Dazs ice cream in a metal container, Tide’s plant-based Purclean laundry detergent in a steel bottle and Crest mouthwash in a glass bottle. The site also contains products from Puretto, a private-label food brand that TerraCycle filed a trademark application for last year, and includes things like pasta, coffee, snacks and cooking oils. The one-time deposit on the containers – which is returned after a one-time order or an auto-refill is cancelled – ranges from $1 to $5 USD, depending on the product.

Coca-Cola, Mars Petcare and Mondelez were also announced to have signed on to the project in January, though products from those companies have yet to appear on the Loop website.

In April, TerraCycle expanded a partnership with cannabis brand Tweed to reduce waste from cannabis packaging. Previously only available in select stores and provinces, the program was expanded nationally, allowing cannabis packaging – which contain several different forms of child-proof measures, often made out of plastic that is difficult to recycle – to be returned at over 100 cannabis retailers so that it can be diverted from landfills.