Could This Be the Next Big Idea on Product Containers?

World's biggest brands creating reusable containers in new 'Loop' experiment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2019 12:02 PM CST
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This photo shows Clorox's stainless steel wipe container designed for use with Loop.   (Dara Rackley/TerraCycle via AP)
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(Newser) – Lots of people have embraced the idea that they should reduce and recycle as a way to cut down on waste. But as Bloomberg notes, the third R in the green bible doesn't get as much attention: "reuse." Now, however, that might change, at least on a small scale initially, because of a new initiative unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. Some of the world's biggest brands have created reusable containers as part of an experiment—the idea is that customers will return them when empty, have them refilled, then get them back again. Details of the "Loop" experiment:

  • How it works: Customers sign up at the Loop website, which is run by the New Jersey company TerraCycle. They order products on the site, which arrive via UPS. After using the products, customers return the empty containers in a special tote via UPS. The containers get cleaned, refilled, and returned to the customer. Yes, this is very much like the "milkman model" of old, notes CNN, when people left out their empty milk bottles to be refilled.
  • Limited test: When the experiment launches in the spring of this year, only those in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be able to participate in the US. A second experiment is taking place in France. However, TerraCycle hopes to expand the program in the US, the UK, Toronto, and elsewhere later this year, reports the AP.

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