Kroger and circular reuse platform Loop have launched a new partnership that allows customers to contribute to recycling efforts for reusable plastic packaging, via a program at the grocer’s Fred Meyer stores in metro Portland, Ore. The partnership arrives at a time when business leaders in retail and consumer packaged goods businesses are feeling the pressure to grow their sustainable efforts.
“Kroger is committed to achieving lasting positive change for billions of people and for our planet,” said Keith Dailey, Group VP of Corporate Affairs and Chief Impact Officer at Kroger, in a statement. “To do this, we’ve developed a shared-value ESG [environmental, social and governance] framework that unlocks greater business value as we work collectively to create more resilient, equitable and sustainable systems. We are honored to be the first grocery retail partner for Loop in the U.S. and work with our brands and consumer packaged goods partners to advance our mission.”
The program has been launched at 25 Portland-area Fred Meyer stores. Eligible goods will be identified with branded displays; customers may purchase more than 20 products from leading brands that use responsible reusable packaging. While consumers can refill the containers, they also can return the empty containers to Loop collection bins at participating stores. Customers are charged a small deposit at point of purchase, with a refund provided upon return of packaging. Following pickup and processing by Loop, the containers are cleaned, refilled and made available for purchase once again.
“Loop’s goal has always been to grow, scale and be accessible to consumers around the world,” explained Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, Loop’s parent company, in a statement.
Loop products include popular brands such as Arbor Teas, Cascade, Clorox, Gerber, Nature’s Heart, Nature’s Path, Pantene, Seventh Generation, Stubb’s and Simple Truth by Kroger. Loop plans to add more brands to this initiative over the course of 2022.
“Our focus on innovative solutions as we continue on our Zero Hunger/Zero Waste journey aligns with Loop’s mission to create a convenient circular packaging platform,” said Lisa Zwack, Head of Sustainability at Kroger, in a statement.
As more retailers note that their customers want products that are built and packaged more sustainably, programs similar to Loop are likely to increase in popularity. Beginning in December 2020, the Loop program launched its in-store retail presence with Carrefour in Paris, followed by Japan’s AEON in May 2021 and Tesco in September. The company has reusable packaging partnerships with McDonald’s locations in the UK in addition to select U.S. Burger King and Canada’s Tim Hortons restaurants.