Loop’s Launch Promises to Reinvent the Reusable Packaging Model
An initiative by a fledgling company called Loop has inspired more than two dozen of the world’s biggest brands to reconsider reusable packaging.
The idea is that new high-quality packaging can be returned and refilled, again and again, effectively transferring the ownership of packaging from consumer to producer.
According to GreenBiz, “Since the dawn of the recycling movement about 30 years ago, companies have tried a number of schemes to enable consumers to use packaging over and over. One plan featured small packets of concentrated liquids used to refill a bottle of household cleaner — just add water to the concentrate and, voilá, a full bottle of a brand-name product. Another approach, refill stores, enabled consumers to bring their own container to buy bulk goods.”
However, none of these approaches gained momentum beyond a tiny niche. Although consumers may be seeking to avoid wasteful practices, they don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Loop’s model, on the other hand, mimics the way consumers already buy, use, and dispose of the packaging: Consumers would dispose of empty containers using totes or Loop-provided receptacles that can be picked up via UPS or another carrier — an action that automatically triggers a reorder or return of the deposit.
Virginie Helias, vice president, and chief sustainability officer at Procter & Gamble, says that a part of the Loop magic is that reusable packaging is not only durable but also aesthetically appealing, through design and the use of premium materials.