Loblaw gets in the Loop to reduce packaging

Who: Loop and Loblaw Companies Limited.

What: A deal for the grocery giant to become Loop’s “founding retailer” in Canada.

But what’s Loop: It’s a program from waste management company TerraCycle aimed at reducing the use of disposable consumer goods packaging. Products are sold in reusable packaging and delivered to customers.

When & Where: Early next year in Toronto, but after starting in just Paris and New York this year, Loop has been expanding globally. Late last month, it announced a similar deal with U.S. grocery retailer Kroger.

Why: Because single-use packaging is an environmental problem that consumers are increasingly concerned about, and leaders in the CPG and retail industry are responding. Earlier this year, P&G, Unilever, Nestle and PepsiCo announced they would all join Loop, putting select products in reusable glass, aluminum and stainless steel containers and selling them via the Loop site. Loblaw gets to be first mover in Canada for what feels like the start of an inevitable wave.

How: Some President’s Choice product—along with other unnamed national brands—will go on sale at the Loop site in reusable containers. Orders are filled and delivered in special Loop tote bags. Once the containers are empty, the consumer goes online to request a pickup, Loop then cleans the containers before they are refilled and shipped off to another consumer.

Quote: “There is too much plastic waste. Our industry is part of the problem and we can be part of the solution. Our partnership with Loop is a powerful example of entrepreneurial innovators working with like-minded large enterprise to bring a meaningful solution to a real problem.” —Galen Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited.


David Brown