Closing the Loop … P&G, Unilever, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Danone work together for zero waste

April 17, 2019

Some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies – P&G, Unilever, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Danone – have launched a new initiative to use refillable and returnable containers in place of current plastic packaging and to reduce waste.

Under the “Loop” scheme created by Terracycle, consumers can make online orders for goods, such as shampoo, washing powder and mouthwash, that normally come in single-use plastic packaging. They will be delivered instead in durable, refillable containers that can be collected from the doorstep and cleaned for reuse.

“This is hassle-free and convenient for the consumer,” says Virginie Helias, vice president of global sustainability for Procter & Gamble. “You can receive your order within 24 hours and you can return your bottle when empty.”

Core to the scheme, run by recycling company Terracycle, is online ordering, which means people do not need to bring their old containers to shops to have them refilled, and fits well with people’s increasing tendency to shop online.

Much of the plastic packaging currently used either cannot be recycled or has little value when recycled. By cutting out the need for single-use containers, Helias hopes to make “significant” reductions in plastic waste, but until the pilot schemes are evaluated it is difficult to estimate the savings, or the costs.