July 14, 2020 / 11:06 PM / 23 days ago

Back to refillables: Tesco targets plastic waste with online trial

LONDON (Reuters) - Online shoppers at Tesco (TSCO.L) will be able to order ketchup and Coca-Cola in refillable bottles as part of a pilot service by Britain’s biggest supermarket chain that aims to cut down on waste generated by plastic packaging.

FILE PHOTO: A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Britons have become increasingly aware of the amount of plastic they use in recent years, with television documentaries such as David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” highlighting the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life.

Tesco has partnered with Loop, a spin-off of waste management company TerraCycle, for the trial which will allow online shoppers to buy products, such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup (KHC.O), Coca-Cola CCEPC.L, Nivea moisturiser (BEIG.DE) and Persil washing powder (ULVR.L), in reusable containers.

The Tesco pilot follows one Loop launched with France’s Carrefour (CARR.PA) last year.

Customers will pay a refundable deposit on each piece of packaging used and receive products in Loop’s reusable bag.

After use, customers place the empty containers back into Loop’s bag, which can then be picked up or dropped off at one of 2,500 DPD collection points across the UK.

Loop will sort and clean the empty containers so they can be refilled by the manufacturer.

Tesco and Loop also aim to make products in reusable packaging available at Tesco’s stores in 2021.

Tesco pledged last year to remove one billion pieces of plastic packaging from products in its British stores by the end of 2020, while rival Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) vowed to halve plastic packaging by 2025, promising to switch to alternative materials or refillable options.

“We will learn what works at scale as we develop plans with Loop to introduce reusable packaging into our business,” said Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis, who is due the leave the group on Oct. 1 after a six-year tenure.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Edmund Blair

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