Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist, Bord Bia - Irish Food Board
As the War on Waste continues to gain momentum and both industry and consumer groups strive to find solutions that can make a meaningful impact, a new zero-waste platform supported by some of the largest FMCG brands will soon make its debut.
Loop has been more than a year in development and partners with the likes of P&G; Nestle, Unilever and other major consumer product companies. Rather than promoting recycling, Loop is all about re-using – each package within the system is designed for 100 or more uses.
The consumer pays an initial deposit for the container, which is delivered by UPS in a tote bag. Once empty, the container is simply placed back in the tote (no need to even rinse out) and UPS will arrange pick up. Empty packages go to a facility to be cleaned and then to manufacturers for refilling.
In its simplest terms, the model works similar to milk bottle deliveries of yester years.
The pilot project (rolling out from Spring 2019) will solely be available to consumers in New York and Paris and only for products available from Loop’s e-commerce site, but there is potential to roll this model out to ‘bricks and mortar’ stores at a future stage.
One of the nine Critical Strategic Issues called out in Bord Bia’s 2018 Irish Foodservice Market Insights report is the fact that ‘Operating with a conscience is the expectation, not the exception’. With still a long way to go to tackle the education and infrastructure challenges associated with recycling and composting, those companies embracing solutions that provide consumers with a REUSE option are changing consumer behaviour and in turn, addressing the root cause of waste.
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