A Closed-Loop Delivery Service Will Soon Pick Up Old Packaging to Reuse

Recycling is incredibly important, but it’s not without its caveats. For one, plastics lose their quality each time we recycle them, so it’s not an effective long-term solution for our plastics. Plus, it’s not always economically viable for recycling centers to actually process all our plastic waste—not to mention that it’s nearly impossible to get the majority of the global population recycling at all (never mind recycle properly).

So while it’s crucial that we continue to recycle, we also need to make some real changes to the way we consume products. We need to stop our endless consumption of single use plastics. With the amount of plastic matter polluting our oceans and water supplies on a daily basis, using plastic once and then throwing it out is just not sustainable.

plastic garbage on the river bank

But a massive change may be on the horizon.  Loop—a new zero-waste platform spearheaded by TerraCycle (a waste company that works to recycle especially challenging materials).

A coalition of major brands—like Procter & Gamble, Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever—designed Loop to be convenient, affordable and unobtrusive for consumers. That’s right—we’re not talking about artisanal ice creams and high-end nut butters in reusable packaging. Loop will make many of America’s most popular products zero-waste—like Tide detergent, Häagen Dazs ice cream, Seventh Generation cleaning products, Pantene shampoo, Dove deodorant and Crest mouthwash.

And they’ll deliver them to your door and pick up the empty container up when you’re done, like a modern milkman.


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How Loop Will Work

When you order your deodorant or detergent or whatever, you’ll pay a small deposit for the bottle. Then, the company will deliver the product in a super-durable, reusable tote, designed by engineers at UPS to withstand many abusive uses. When you finish your products, you can throw them back into the tote. When the tote is full, you simply request a delivery person to pick it up from the Loop website or drop it off at a UPS location.

Everything in the system is designed to withstand at least 100 uses, which is a major step up from the use-and-toss system we have in place right now.

Even if you don’t like the big brands that are partnered with the service, you have to admit that making zero waste a part of the average consumer’s shopping experience would be a major environmental win. Loop is launching its pilot programs this year. As early as this spring, consumers will be able to take part in this new sustainability initiative in both New York City and Paris.

After that, who knows. If Loop is a success, maybe you’ll be able to buy your favorite ice cream flavors in a stainless steel container, too.

31 comments

jan l
jan l23 minutes ago

sorry for the typo ... The state is MI.... not NO.

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jan l
jan l28 minutes ago

Back to the drawing board. This scenario is cumbersome, expensive and quite laborious. The expense will be passed onto the price of the product.
Most consumers want to see, smell and touch what they buy. I like to compare labels (ingredients/ chemicals/ fillers), price, size, etc, when shopping as do most consumers. The LOOP program creates a big knot in the process. I'm not willing to pay more nor a pay deposit: I'll buy the competitive brand. Many states currently require a bottle/can deposit for carbonated beverages (sparkling water, soda) and beer. In NO it's 10 cents per container. There are large automated self-serve machines to deposit the empty containers in. The machine tallies the amount due the customer and provides a receipt at the end of the transaction. The values on the receipt can be redeemed for cash or applied to as purchase. The program started as a way to reduce litter. It's now viewed as a way to recycle glass and plastic bottles as well as cans.

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Sophie A
Sophie A14 hours ago

Thanks for posting

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Danuta W
Danuta W1 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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sue higgins
sue higgins2 days ago

Its seems like a lot of messing about just to get people to recycle.... as well as adding to pollution with extra trips via a VAN to collect in the first place ! TO ME THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS STARTING WITH THE MANUFACTURERS TELL THEM TO STOP PRODUCING PLASTIC IN THE FIRST PLACE !

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Roxana Saez
Roxana S2 days ago

TYFS

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Janet B
Janet B2 days ago

Thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 days ago

TYFS

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Michael F
Michael F2 days ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Margaret F
Margaret F2 days ago

So many questions on this. Does the consumer have to order direct from the company to take part in this? If so, that's an extra vehicle delivery versus buying at a stocked brick & mortar store. Some people are already ordering basic products online of course. The consumer then has to store the shipping container waiting to use up the product. And what if the consumer then adds packaging to the return shipment that was not part of the original purchase? So many questions.

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