Everything you need to know about Woolworths’ zero-waste packaging initiative
The supermarket giant's green food delivery system will be the first of its kind in Australia. Here's how it will work.
From reducing plastic on fresh fruit and vegetables to placing soft plastic recycling bins in stores, Woolworths has been making strides to respond to consumer demands around a greener shopping experience. Now, in a further attempt to improve its image, the supermarket is set to trial a zero-waste, reusable packaging venture.
Beginning in mid-2021, Woolworths will partner with US recycling business Terracycle to bring a project known as Loop to Australian shoppers. The initiative will see online shoppers receive a selection of products including shampoo, washing detergent, juice and ice cream in reusable packaging, which will be delivered to them in sturdy shipping totes.
Once products are finished, customers will then be able to place them back into the tote and arrange to either have it collected or drop it into a store themselves. The tote will then be cleaned, refilled and reused to help minimise waste and further discourage the use of plastic packaging.
In a release, Terracycle has stated that cutting-edge technology will ensure that packaging will be thoroughly cleaned "so that each product may be safely reused and promptly replenished as needed at the consumer's request".
According to Woolworths General Manager of Quality, Health and Sustainability, Alex Holt, Loop is set to be the first project in a long-term partnership between Woolworths and Terracycle.
"Our customers are increasingly telling us they want products that are good for them, and good for the planet. We are pleased to be working with innovative partners like TerraCycle to lead the way in offering new and cutting-edge solutions to cut down on plastic waste," Holt said.
The move has been applauded by Federal Government with Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, stating, "It is vitally important that both governments and the private sector play their part in reducing waste and embracing recycling solutions."
News of Woolworths' zero-waste initiative follows an announcement from rival supermarket Coles that it's currently trialling its own zero-waste strategy. Rather than focusing on online deliveries, Coles will set its sights on in-store processes such as finding ways to turn waste into other resources.