Tesco to Trial Refillable Packaging

By Holly Brockwell on at

Tesco is having a good week. Fresh from reducing the price of Freddos to their original value (temporarily, sob) and creating budget-friendly Valentine's meals, they've announced they'll be participating in a refillable packaging trial.

Created by recycling company TerraCycle, Loop is a system whereby customers pay a small deposit for a reusable container alongside its contents, and get the deposit back when they return it. The container is then cleaned and refilled for the next person.

The system means we'll see products in very different packaging than we're used to. The use of plastic should be far less common than it is with disposable/recyclable packaging, and we might see some more premium materials, too – think handwash in glass dispensers. According to the BBC, we'll also see toothpaste tablets and aluminium ice cream tubs.

The trial will also run in France and the US, and Tesco's will start later this year. It's set to include toiletries and cereals, and is hoped to reduce prices over time as well as, you know, saving the only planet we've got.

Of course, the idea of paying a deposit for a container and bringing it back is far from new -- it's been in use with glass bottles in particular for aeons. But a large-scale, super-convenient system in big supermarkets might help it actually catch on en masse, and that would be a very good thing for the world. Unless the same thing happens with reusing carrier bags, where unintended consequences like e-coli pop up (it shouldn't be e-coli itself though, because the containers will be washed when you bring them back).

What do you think of the Loop system? Are you OK with getting your mint choc chip in a container someone else has used? Got a better idea? Let us know in the comments.