Giant Food plans to offer products with Loop reusable packaging at stores in the Washington, D.C., area starting this fall.
Products available via the Loop circular reuse platform, developed by waste management firm TerraCycle, come in refillable glass or metal containers and will be placed in branded displays at the participating Giant supermarkets, Trenton, N.J.-based Loop and parent company TerraCycle said this week. After customers use the products, they return the empty packaging to Loop Return Point collection bins located at the Giant store. Loop then retrieves the containers for cleaning, refilling and reuse in future purchases.
“Giant is committed to taking sustainable actions that reduce plastic waste from our landfills and improve our environment,” Diane Couchman, vice president of category management for non-perishables at Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Loop, a global leader in eliminating waste, to offer our customers a program that allows them to shop their favorite products and help our environment.”
Overall, Giant operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
Shoppers buying the Loop products are charged a small packaging deposit upon purchase but get a full refund once the container is returned. To ensure the reusable containers maintain advanced cleaning and sanitization, Loop said it consults with Ecolab, a leading global provider of cleaning and hygiene solutions and services, for on-site design and equipment and the chemistry of the cleaning processes.
Initially, products with Loop containers were sold only online via loopstore.com in the platform’s pilot phase, but availability is now shifting to physical retail stores. The transition to an in-store retail model began in Paris with Carrefour in December 2020, followed by Loop in-store launches with Japan’s Aeon in May 2021 and the United Kingdom’s Tesco in September 2021. Loop also has formed reusable packaging partnerships with McDonald’s in the U.K. and with restaurant chains Burger King and Tim Hortons in in the United States and Canada, respectively.
Earlier this year, The Kroger Co. rolled out products with Loop reusable packaging to 25 Fred Meyer stores in metropolitan Portland, Ore. The product assortment at the time spanned more than 20 food and household items — including such brands as Arbor Teas, Cascade, Clorox, Gerber, Nature’s Heart, Nature’s Path, Pantene, Seventh Generation, Stubb’s and Kroger’s Simple Truth private label — packaged in Loop containers.
Kroger and drugstore chain Walgreens announced in May 2019 that they would be the first U.S. retailers to employ the Loop system. Other Loop partners include retailers Loblaw Cos., Ulta Beauty, Metro AG, Charlie Banana and Lyreco and CPG brands/manufacturers Cascade, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Crest, Danone, Evian, Fanta, Finish, Gillette, Glad, Haagen-Dazs, Herbal Essences, Kikkoman, Kraft Heinz, Mars Wrigley, Nivea, Nutella, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene Perrier, Purina, S. Pellegrino, Sprite, Tide and Tropicana, among others.
Loop noted that its the first platform to partner with consumer brands and retailers to offer shoppers a way to go from single use to reuse with their purchases.
“Loop’s goal has always been to grow, scale and be accessible to consumers around the world,” according to Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle and Loop. “With world-class retailers, like Giant, bringing Loop to their physical brick-and-mortar locations, we are giving consumers what they’ve been asking for since Loop was introduced in 2019 — the ability to purchase the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers, with the convenience of shopping at their local market.”