Reusable revolution gets underway in Govan

From today (Monday 8th February 2010), shoppers in a Glasgow supermarket will be able to buy fabric conditioner from in-store vending machines using reusable pouches, introducing a new concept in shopping and helping to reduce packaging waste. 

8 Jan 10

Customers at ASDA’s Govan store will be able to refill their 1.5L pouches up to 10 times, saving them nearly 40p each time.  It can also reduce the amount of plastic packaging waste created by up to 96%.

The system works by storing the liquid back-of-store in 1,000 litre refillable containers which are connected via overhead pipes to a dispensing point in the retail aisle.

The trial, which has been funded by Zero Waste Scotland, and partners ASDA, eziserv, McBrides and Unilever, is also being launched in four other ASDA stores across the UK.

As well as offering savings to customers, the new technology offers retailers significant business benefits including vastly reduced carbon emissions in the supply chain and transportation and storage cost savings.

Iain Gulland, Programme Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Reusable packaging offers us an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the retail experience.  Consumers are now habitually reusing their shopping bags and if this trial enjoys similar success, it could mark the start of a reusable revolution.

“Retailers are watching this trial with a great deal of interest because there are clear opportunities for reusable packaging in all manner of products ranging from laundry products to paint.”

Julian Walker-Palin, ASDA’s head of corporate policy for sustainability and ethics, said:

"We've already cut our packaging in store by over 28pc so trialling reusable packaging was the next natural step for us.

“Asda's mantra is to make sustainability affordable for all and reusing packaging in this way saves our customers money and also prevents further plastic waste."

Richard Garnett from eziserv said:

“This launch is a significant step that enables customers to radically reduce packaging waste while making great savings on the new products they would normally buy in traditional bottles.  The dispense point and innovative new pack are simple, fun and easy to use.  If this trial is successful the concept can be applied to a range of products.”

The trials will explore logistical and economic opportunities as well as assess consumer acceptance and a final report will be published in autumn 2010.

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