If you’ve ever heard your older family members reminisce about days of old when milkmen used to deliver milk in reusable glass bottles every morning, imagining such a thing might seem kind of quaint and old timey. But those old-school milk deliveries were onto something when it comes to minimizing waste. In an effort to revive and update the grocery home delivery model, Loop, a new zero-waste consumer goods delivery platform, is launching this spring in the United States and France. This basically means that, come spring, you can get your groceries delivered in reusable packaging, and nothing gets thrown out. According to Adele Peters writing for Fast Company, once you’ve cleared out all your (super cute) stainless steel containers, you send them back to Loop, where they get cleaned, sterilized, and reused for other customers.
According to the brand’s official website, Loop is partnering with a slew of top brands to make “your everyday essentials … available in durable, functional packaging that’s beautiful enough to display.” Instead of getting one box delivered every month, as is typical with delivery subscriptions, Loop will automatically resend items as you return your containers, so your supplies get replenished as you need them. It was not immediately apparent how the prices for these products will be different than buying them conventionally.
Given that plastics are filling up our oceans and destroying marine life while adding to massive levels of pollution worldwide, according to Danielle Wiener-Bronner writing for CNN, zero-waste consumer solutions come not a moment too soon.
Tom Szaky, CEO and co-founder of Loop partner, TerraCycle, told Peters for Fast Company that “We run what is today the world’s largest supply chain on ocean plastic, collecting it and going into Unilever and Procter & Gamble products and so on. But every day, more and more gets put in the ocean, so no matter how much we clean the ocean, we’re never going to solve the problem. That’s really where Loop emerged: To us, the root cause of waste is not plastic, per se, it’s using things once, and that’s really what Loop tries to change as much as possible.”
Each reusable Loop package is designed to last for at least 100 uses, Peters wrote, and product orders can be placed via the Loop website once the platform is launched. Your products will get delivered in a UPS-designed reusable tote, and as you use your stuff up, just toss the canisters back into the tote. You’ll then be able to either drop off your Loop bag at your nearest UPS, or schedule a pick-up from the Loop site. If you’d like to queue up to get on the waitlist for the upcoming rollout, you can sign up on the website’s home page.
About 300 products are slated for launch via the Loop platform, Wiener-Bronner wrote for CNN, including Tide brand laundry detergent, Crest oral health supplies, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Pantene shampoo, and Nature’s Path Organic items. Peters also wrote that eight out of 10 of the major brands listed by Greenpeace as being primary contributors to the global plastics crisis are on board as part of the new platform.
Given the overwhelming scale of the global plastics crisis, eco-friendly solutions that revamp the way companies do packaging, is long overdue as a mainstream concern.