Loblaw and Loop make good on reusable packaging promise

TerraCycle’s Loop retail program is launching in Canada, with Loblaw as the first retail partner.

Initially rolling out to residents in most of Ontario, customers can shop for food and household products such as ice cream, sauces, snacks, pet food and toothpaste in refillable packaging.

Some of the country’s most popular brands, including Loblaw’s President’s Choice, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Hershey Canada chocolate, and Heinz ketchup will be available through the service. The e-commerce site is up and running now, with 91 products currently available.

There is no evidence, however, of the President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie tin, which was hinted to one of the first to be tested in a pilot launched last year.

This PC cookie tin is missing from the Loop store launch lineup.

With the launch, Canada joins the United States, the United Kingdom and France as the Loop platform continues to expand around the world.

Durable containers

The Loop website sells products in durable packaging that is reused until the end of its life. Consumers pay a deposit on each package, which is fully refundable when it is returned.Deposits on currently available products range from $5 for a metal Häagen-Dazs ice cream container, to 50 cents for a salsa jar.

Packages are delivered by FedEx.

After use, consumers simply place the empty containers back into the Loop Tote, and then return the tote by either scheduling a free pickup online or dropping it off at one of the more than 500 FedEx retail locations in Ontario.

Loop sorts and professionally cleans the packaging and tote bag to stringent health and safety standards so products can then be replenished as needed, creating a convenient, zero waste shopping system.

Plastic waste

“The fact is that there’s too much plastic waste in our environment. We are part of the problem and must be part of the solution,” said Galen Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited.

“We are actively reducing plastic waste in hundreds of ways in our business today through better processes, new materials, and packaging design. Loop is one of the most innovative opportunities as we work with them to make it easier for consumers to be part of the solution.”

“Loop is designed to be as convenient as the single-use shopping experience while creating a sustainable, circular model for consumption,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle.

“Collaboration is necessary to tackle the waste crisis head on. As Canada’s largest retailer, Loblaw’s operational scale and years of expertise will make Loop accessible to more shoppers and make meaningful progress toward our shared goal of reducing waste.”

Loop, operating in Canada as Loop CIRC, is an initiative from TerraCycle. Operating nationally across 20 countries, TerraCycle partners with consumer product companies, retailers, cities, and facilities to recycle hard-to-recycle waste.