February 19th, 2019 by Erika Clugston
Did you get the memo? The milkman is back in style! Loop, a zero-waste, circular shopping platform that harkens back to the milkman model of delivered reusables, is set to launch this spring. Big brands such as Tide, Coca-Cola, Pampers, and Häagen-Dazs, among others, have joined the project and will offer their items on the platform.
With more than 300 items available for purchase on the site, Loop will deliver your selected items packaged in refillable and reusable containers, made out of durable materials such as stainless steel or glass, and brought to your doorstep by UPS. The way it works is very similar to your average online shopping experience: create an account, add things to your basket, and purchase at checkout. There are no membership or subscription fees — the main difference from standard online shopping is that with Loop you are asked to pay a deposit. The deposit is fully refundable, and could be anywhere from $47 for a Pampers diaper bin or 25 cents for a Coca-Cola bottle.
“The cost will vary per consumer based on what product they order, the deposit for the packaging and if they reach free shipping,” Loop told CleanTechnica. “We’ve had just shy of 50,000 people sign up to be notified when Loop launches so they can apply.” The company plans to launch in New York and Paris this May, with further plans to expand to London, Toronto, Tokyo and San Francisco within the next year.
So now maybe you’ve thought about it a bit, heard the word ‘diapers’, and now you’re wondering about the practicality of handling hygiene items? They’ve thought of that. Engadget reports that Procter & Gamble, which has a 2% stake in Loop, has plans to use a durable bin for products such as diapers and menstrual pads, fitted with a carbon filter that will block odors until the bin is picked up for recycling and sanitized for reuse.
The platform is run by the waste management company TerraCycle, and is making an effort to make recycling convenient and affordable. Because isn’t that really what’s holding the mainstream consumer back from recycling and reusing — convenience? Loop’s system makes it easy to be zero-waste, and for the small price of a refundable deposit fee.
This concept isn’t entirely new, and many countries globally have some form of a deposit-refund system in place. This incentivizes and rewards recycling and deters people from throwing away or damaging the containers. However, Loop’s platform is exciting in that it is bringing together major brands and companies to take recycling to the people. We can’t wait to see Loop in action!
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