Packaging, particularly within the CPG space, is a huge source of landfill waste, and even with better recycling efforts and materials, the onus still falls on the consumer to deal with properly discarding bottles and boxes once a product has reached the end of its usable life. To combat this issue and differentiate their stores, particularly from increased e-commerce competition, supermarkets are experimenting with package-free formats that expand beyond the typical offerings of a bulk aisle, encouraging customers to shop with refillable cartons and containers.
UK Supermarket chain Asda is trialling a new sustainable store near the city of Leeds. The store will include 15 refill stations featuring 30 household staples ranging from Kellogg’s cereals to PG Tips tea bags. The refill zone includes shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and more. The store will also sell 50+ produce lines all sold in loose, unwrapped form and the outer plastic from multi-pack items will be removed. The store also features an area for local vendors to sell their wares and a comprehensive recycling offering. The goal is to be able to offer all the services, meeting consumers’ desire for more sustainable shopping options and do so at no additional cost to the shopper.
According to Asda's press release, the store includes:
- 15 refill stations offering customers a selection of more than 30 household staples sold in refillable format. Products include a selection of different Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta.
- The refill zone includes popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, Persil laundry detergent, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox sold in refillable format – a retail first.
- 53 fresh produce lines in total sold in loose and unwrapped format including 29 new lines such as cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes. In addition, all Asda plants and flowers are sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping.
- Removal of the outer plastic wrapping on several popular Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks including beans and soups.
- Recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes.
- Asda’s first reverse vending machine for cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles and a hanger recycling facility that will be rolled out across all stores.
- The store will also showcase sustainable fashion lines through George including clothing made from recycled polyester and coat hanger-less denim.
- A new community zone for pop ups and partnerships with charities; the first is a three-month trial with the Salvation Army of a Drop and Shop outlet for customers to donate their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac seven days a week.
- A partnership with Pre-Loved a vintage wholesaler who will be selling bespoke vintage clothing from well-known brands.
Asda Sustainability Store