Today’s Solutions: December 04, 2023

Taking on greener shopping practices is essential in the fight against climate change, however, it can be hard to break old habits and remember to grab refillable containers on our way out to the shops. Well, Tesco’s new zero-waste shopping scheme, developed in partnership with the Loop, removes this hurdle and makes it as easy as possible for customers to reduce their plastic waste.

How does their system work? Customers select one of the 88 products that Tesco includes in the trial, and when they’re finished their shopping trip, take it to the register and pay for it as they usually do, but with a price included as a deposit for the container. The deposit, which ranges in price from 20p to £5, is necessary to ensure that containers are returned.

Once they’ve consumed the product at home, customers can open the Loop application to find the nearest location to return their empty containers.

At the return point, customers pull a lever and receive a unique QR code which they stick onto the empty container and scan with their phone before depositing it. Customers don’t even have to wash their empties or remove any labels, making the process incredibly hassle-free.

Once returned, the packaging is cleaned and refilled so that it’s ready to be purchased again.

“The time imperative of making things sustainable for the planet is now,” Ashwin Prasad, group chief product officer at Tesco, told BBC. “So, just by making this decision to take three items from the Loop range in your normal shopping trip will remove millions of pieces of plastic, and that will make a big difference.”

The trial includes 10 Tesco locations in eastern England.

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