Carrefour x The Loop: Retail Giant Partners With Circular Packaging Platform To Offer Consumers Refillable Deposit Scheme

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According to Packaging Europe, retail giant Carrefour has joined hands with the Loop to offer reusable and returnable packaging to consumers thus promoting a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle. Consumers can take advantage of this new single-use packaging-free alternative both online and in-store.

Launching the scheme in two Paris Carrefour shops in Bizot and Beaupassage, with 10 more locations expected to launch by the end of the year, the Loop offers consumers refillable packaging options for everyday products including glass yoghurt pots and dishwasher tablets that are available in aluminium containers across brands such as Nivea, Coca-Cola, Danone, Evian, Nutella, Ricoré, Maison Verte, etc.

It is essential that large retailers like Carrefour adopt circular economy solutions. The initiative to reuse packaging via the Loop solution is a step in the right direction. This is how we will reduce the amount of single-use plastic at the source and meet the objectives of the anti-waste law for a circular economy

Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for Ecological Transition

The idea is that once the consumers have finished the contents of the pack, they can return the empty packaging and the deposit will get refunded through a mobile application. This will happen either at a designated collection area or at checkout. Once the packages are returned, Loop will ensure their collection, sorting and cleaning. After this process, the clean package will be refilled by the specific brands and can be reused by the next consumer.

(Source: Loop’s Facebook)

While on a visit to one of the Carrefour locations, Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for ecological transition, said that “the fight against overwrapping and all-plastic packaging must be embodied in everyday life locations. It is essential that large retailers like Carrefour adopt circular economy solutions. This is what will enable us to change at scale. The initiative to reuse packaging via the Loop solution is a step in the right direction.” 

“By consuming products in reusable containers, we hope to reduce the amount of single-use plastic at the source and meet the objectives of the anti-waste law for a circular economy.”

I think we’re going to see some organisations die because of this. Others will pivot…[and] are taking these issues seriously and making the difficult decisions that may negatively impact the short term but lay the foundation to be relevant in the long term

Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle

Since the reusable packaging e-commerce platform Loop launched in 2019 by the Franco/US-based waste management company Terracycle, more and more consumer brands and retailers have joined in on the zero-waste solution. As consumers push for more sustainable solutions in packaging owing to the environmental risks of plastic packaging, brands are finally starting to pay attention.

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky said he believes companies that do not lower their packaging waste will struggle: “I think we’re going to see some organisations die because of this. Others will pivot…[and] are taking these issues seriously and making the difficult decisions that may negatively impact the short term but lay the foundation to be relevant in the long term.”

From brands across the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia, Loop’s services are being utilised and incorporated. Though the services include having to send and transport heavier parcels as well as a need for labour to clean the packaging items, the system leaves a lower carbon footprint than single-use packaging. It also helps to reduce waste that ultimately ends up in our landfills and in our oceans.

Blandine Surry, general manager of Loop Europe spoke of the partnership and its zero waste potential: “The waste crisis calls for the invention of alternatives to single-use packaging. The launch of the Loop initiative by Carrefour marks an important step in the transition towards zero waste consumption. We look forward to building with Carrefour, and all our partner brands, the future of reuse in France within the framework of the objectives of the anti-waste law.”

McDonalds Reusable Loop Cup (Source: McDonalds)

In the second half of last year, McDonalds joined forces with Loop to promote a circular economy by offering McDonald’s customers the choice to choose a durable Loop-created cup for a small deposit. Once the cup is returned, the deposit is refunded and the cup professionally cleaned and sanitised for reuse.

Fast food rival Burger King also partnered with Loop late last year, trialing a reusable packaging scheme for popular menu items like its Whopper and soft drinks

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if 20% of existing plastic packaging is converted into reusable alternatives, this will be worth an estimated US$10 billion.

In other news, TerraCycle has revealed that a Series A ‘Founding Investors’ capital raise of USD$25 million for Loop has been completed. P&G, Nestlé, SUEZ, Aptar, Sky Ocean Ventures, ImpactAssets, and Quadia are the investors. 


Lead image courtesy of Terracycle.

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