Kroger has announced that it is the exclusive U.S. grocery retail partner for Loop, a global circular shopping platform that uses a reusable and returnable program to help manage consumer product packaging. The eco-friendly system is the brainchild of TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky, who so far has gotten 25 companies including Nestle, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo on board to participate by designing and offering durable and reusable packaging for popular products in their portfolios.
Customers who sign up for the program put a deposit down on the items they want to buy with returnable packaging. There are no monthly fees. These items will arrive via UPS––which has signed on as a partner of the system––in a reusable tote that consumers can use to return their empty Loop products. Once the tote is full, it can be returned for free by dropping it off at a UPS store or through requested driver pickup. Customers who have returned empty packaging will either get their deposit back or will start a new order if they have signed up for an automatic subscription.
Consumers can also opt to make product pickups and returns at participating retailers, which is where Kroger fits into the puzzle. By partnering up with Loop, Kroger is taking another step forward in its “Zero Hunger | Zero Waste” initiative in which the Cincinnati-based supermarket giant has committed to end hunger in the communities it serves and eliminate waste across the entire company by 2025. According to Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs, “Our commitment to innovative solutions on our path to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste aligns perfectly with Loop’s mission to create a convenient circular packaging platform for consumers,” Adelman continued, “Customers are increasingly seeking out sustainable products and services that fit their lifestyle. As the exclusive grocery retail partner for Loop in the U.S., Kroger is taking another big step toward a world with zero waste.”
Loop has also partnered with Walgreens, the second largest pharmacy store chain in the U.S., which will act as another pickup and drop-off option for the reusable packaging purchased through the zero waste shopping platform. “Walgreens is excited about this opportunity to help consumers purchase sustainably packaged products and contribute to a healthier planet. Innovative collaborations with partners like Loop are critical to solving the complex issue of reducing single-use plastics,” said Laura Brindley, group president of beauty and personal care for Walgreens. “Our customers look to us to innovate so that together we can reduce waste and increase re-use.”
Loop will be piloted to select consumers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC. Shoppers who are interested in participating can go to loopstore.com to learn how to sign up for the initial U.S. launch.