A new shopping platform announced at the World Economic Forum aims to change the way consumers buy many brand-name products. Loop, like the platform, is called. It would do away with disposable containers for items such as shampoo and laundry detergents. These are from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. The delivery is always unique i.e. to be delivered in sleek and reusable containers. Washed and refilled, these will be picked up at your door.
“Loop is about the future of consumption. And one of the tenets is that garbage shouldn’t exist,” says Tom Szaky. TerraCycle, it is a NewJersey based international recycling company and Tom Szaky is the CEO. TerraCycle is the company behind Loop.
“Removing plastics from the ocean is not enough. We need to get at the whole idea of disposability and un-reusable items,” says Szaky. “We’re going back to the milkman model of the 1950s. You buy the milk but the milk company owns the bottle. This is the bottle that you leave in the milk box to be picked up when you’re done with it.”
Companies partnering with Loop include Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and other top brands.
“Our goal is that by 2030, all of our packagings will be reusable or recyclable,” says Virginie Helias, vice-president, and chief sustainability officer at Procter & Gamble. Loop, she says, “is a very new idea and somewhat risky because no one has tried it. But the response has been very positive. To be part of the pilot project 10 of our brands have been selected. We will implement with a plan to add more later pending positive results.”
Pantene shampoo, for instance, “will come in a beautifully decorated, lightweight aluminum pump container,” Helias says. “Tide in the U.S. will come in a stainless-steel bottle with a durable twist cap. Cascade will come in ultra-durable packaging. Crest mouthwash will come in a glass bottle. The idea is ultra-durability, convenience, and also ultra-luxurious packaging.”
Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream. Delivered in stainless-steel tub and is double-walled with a posh exterior. Hence the product is a Nestle product, one of the biggest brands. For longer hours and having more impact, the design of the cup is such that it keeps the ice cream cold.
Placed in un-reusable and durable diaper containers. It started only in Paris soiled diapers can be a replacement. This is instead of the dirty disposable diapers t landfills. Loop will replace the old one with a clean empty one. This is when the container is all filled up and needs replacement. New technology allows Loop to process and recycle dirty diapers, something TerraCycle has already started doing in Amsterdam.
“We want to strive for Zero Waste at both the production and consumption level,” says Laurent Freixe, CEO of the Americas Region of Nestlé, which hopes to do away with all its non-recyclable packaging by 2025. “Loop is so innovative that we felt we had to be a part of it and learn from it.”
The rise of the “Zero Waste” movement and concern about the environment has led many businesses to try to reduce packaging and un-reusable containers. The loop is unusual in its international scope and the size of the companies participating.
Initially, Loop will offer about 300 products, with plans to add to the list later. According to TerraCycle, partners include Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever, Mars Petcare, The Clorox Company, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola, Mondelez International, Danone, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, BIC, Nature’s Path, Thousand Fell, Greenhouse, Brilliance, Preserve, Carrefour, UPS and the sustainable-resource management company Suez.
Greenpeace joined in a panel about sustainable consumption. Loop was officially announced on Thursday in Davos, Switzerland. Initially, Greenpeace was also under criticism for creating much of the plastic waste that is a hazard for the World’s oceans. Jennifer Morgan, the international executive director of Greenpeace, said beforehand, “While Greenpeace welcomes the aim of the Loop Alliance to move away from throwaway culture and disposability. What the platform will mean for the environment depends on whether corporations worldwide are actually ready to change their business models, or if this effort just becomes a distracting side project to generate positive PR.”
She warned that most businesses behind the initiative are still expanding the production of single-use plastic. The company promised more sustainable, un-reusable & durable packaging. This is in response to their earlier promises towards packaging and the dedication of the company’s representative.
Paris and its suburbs, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York are where Loop is ready to launch in spring. In the form of simplistic and specifically designed totes for shipping. With carefully delivering at the customer’s home, an easy approach. Now from the Loop website, Zero-Waste products will be the shopper’s best choice. Eventually, at participating retailers, such as Carrefour grocery stores in Paris.
Loop intends to expand to the U.S. West Coast, Toronto, and the United Kingdom by the end of this year or early 2020, followed by Japan– ideally in time for the 2020 Olympics, Szaky says.
“It means more delivery trucks, but far fewer garbage trucks,” he says.