Loop, TerraCycle’s Circular Delivery Service Brings Responsibility Back To The Manufacturer

by | Jan 30, 2019 | Zero Waste

LOOP, a new initiative by TerraCycle, a small waste management company from Trenton, New Jersey is aiming to reduce packaging by creating a circular delivery service. It had caught the attention of some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies including Procter & Gamble (who actually has a stake in the company), Unilever, PepsiCo, Mars Petcare, Mondelez International, Nestlé (another founding investor), Danone, and UPS. This new initiative offers an alternative to recycling – a dying industry where only 9% of plastic is actually getting recycled.

With global brand labels found on most of the trash floating around, it’s clear they are the culprit for the large amount of garbage we see in landfills, oceans, our streets and our parks. Once a product is purchased, it’s in the consumer’s hands to properly dispose of it including the packaging it came in, even though most products are not set up for success in the disposability area. With this new service from Loop consumers can still enjoy the convenience and affordability of disposables without making the waste. Manufacturers are now retaining ownership of their packaging and incentivized to invest more resources into package design and longevity.

The brains behind this delivery service is Tom Szasky, TerraCycle’s CEO. His mission – to eliminate waste first and make a profit second. Szasky targeted the top 10 companies on Greenpeace’s list of top plastic polluters. Because these companies are aware of their impact and know they have to start making changes in favor of our environment’s health, 8 out of 10 of them are now on board with Loop.

VIA TERRACYCLE

“Loop brings back the old ‘milkman model,’ where products are delivered to your door at the same time empties are picked up, washed, refilled and readied for delivery to another customer.”

Initially, Loop will carry 300 products with the intent to add to the list as they grow. The prices for these items are said to be comparable to what one would purchase them for at their nearby store. However, there is one additional charge, a fully refundable deposit for each package, which varies depending on the size and quantity of products. For instance an additional $0.25 for a bottle of cola. Shipping is free after 5 – 7 items are added to the customer’s cart. In the US items will arrive via UPS in a Loop tote bag. When a customer is finished using the products they do not need to be washed like traditional recyclables. UPS will pick up the Loop tote and transport it to a regional cleaning facility. Customers have the option to repeat the cycle or recover their deposit. Szasky said, “no matter what state it’s returned in (even if broken, because the container is the manufacturer’s responsibility), you get your deposit back in full.” The only time customers will lose out their deposit is if they fail to make a return.

Szasky addressed one of the potential drawbacks of Loop – having consumers shop at yet another retail website. But he is optimistic that this delivery service will eventually be integrated into existing online shops, including the ever so popular Amazon. There is even hope that down the road consumers will start seeing Loop packages on store shelves.

BRANDS ON BOARD

HÄAGEN DAZS

Nestlé’s Häagen-Dazs will be packaged in reusable stainless steel double-walled ice cream containers designed to keep ice cream cool in the LOOP tote and cooler for 24 – 36 hours.

VIA TERRACYCLE

CREST

P&G’s Crest has a new Platinum mouthwash that will come in a glass bottle.

VIA TERRACYCLE

CLOROX

VIA TERRACYCLE

AXE, DOVE & DEGREE

Unilever’s Axe, Dove, and Degree will be testing a stainless steel refillable deodorant stick called minim™. Depending on usage, the product will last on average one month. It’s designed to last at least 100 cycles which means that each pack is expected to last about eight years!

VIA UNILEVER

ORAL B

P&G’s oral care company will be testing circular solutions for both its electric rechargeable and manual toothbrushes. The Loop platform will recycle used brush heads for both types of brushes.

VIA LOOP

TROPICANA & QUAKER OATS

Tropicana will be packaged in glass bottles while Quaker Oats will be housed in stainless steel containers.

VIA TERRACYCLE

LOVE BEAUTY AND PLANET

VIA UNILEVER

PANTENE

P&G’s hair and body care brand Pantene is introducing a unique bottle made with lightweight, durable aluminum

VIA TERRACYCLE

PAMPERS & ALWAYS

Proctor & Gamble designed a bin to hold soiled diapers and menstrual pads. It has a carbon filter to block odors. Once sent back, thanks to new technology the hygiene items are recycled, and the bin is sanitized before being sent out again. The technology turns used hygiene products into secondary raw materials for higher value applications.

VIA TERRACYCLE

MORE BRANDS…

BURLAP & BARREL

NATURE’S PATH ORGANIC

THE BODY SHOP

Owned by Proctor & Gamble:

TIDE

is participating with its purclean plant-based laundry detergent in a durable bottle made from stainless steel with a simple twist-cap and easy pour spout.

CASCADE

developed ultra-durable packaging for Cascade’s ActionPacs which enable consumers to skip the prewash.

GILLETTE & VENUS

the used parts and blades from these grooming products will be collected from consumers for recycling by TerraCycle.

ARIEL & FEBREEZE

these two companies have created durable, refillable packaging that is also available in stores. They are also testing a new direct-to-consumer refill and reuse model.

Owned by Unilever:

REN CLEAN SKINCARE
HELLMANN’S
LOVE HOME & PLANET
SEVENTH GENERATION

SIGNAL ORAL CARE

Signal’s new product format features refillable toothpaste tablets called Tooth Tabs. This enables consumers to brush their teeth using less water; simply chew, brush and rinse per usual.

LOOP will be available on a pilot basis starting this Spring in New York and Paris. By the end of 2019 they are hoping to hit London, while Toronto, San Fransisco, Tokyo, and the Summer Olympics are goals for 2020.

Although I don’t personally use most of these products (because of ingredients, plus I’d rather support small businesses) this is definitely an initiative headed in the right direction!

PIN ME!