In a bid to cut out plastic and unnecessary packaging, Asda has joined forces with some of the UK’s best known household brands to launch refill stations its first ‘test and learn’ sustainability store in its heartland of Leeds.
From May, the Leeds based store will follow in the footsteps on Waitrose Unpacked and become the first Asda in the UK where shoppers can bring their own containers and fill up on products such as Asda’s own-brand coffee, rice and pasta as well as Kellogg’s cereals such as Coco Pops and Rice Krispies and Unilever’s PG Tips tea.
The trial will last for 3 months and customer’s feedback will be monitored. If all goes well, the initiative will be rolled out to more stores around the country.
The move is part of Asda’s commitments to reduce the amount of plastic it uses. Already, back in September 2019, Asda started to sell plastic-free herbs, using a paper sleeve to protect the herbs. In this trial sustainability store, the supermarket will also offer plastic-free flowers and loose produce with items such as cucumbers and mushrooms being sold without plastic packaging.
In addition to the new Asda refill stations, there will also be a range of new recycling facilities, including a reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans (similar to the ones trialled at Tesco and Iceland), hanger recycling and a deposit box for unwanted small plastic toys.
Roger Burnley, CEO of Asda, said: “We’re on an ongoing quest to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our business – and to find new ways to help our customers to reuse and refill our products. It’s a journey we can’t go on alone, which is why we invited our suppliers to innovate with us and I’m delighted that household names like Kellogg’s and Unilever have joined us in testing new ideas and approaches to sustainability at our Middleton store.
“Over the coming weeks and months we will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impacts whilst still maintaining the great service and quality our customers demand. Our first priority will be to look at how we can reduce and remove plastic and I am excited to learn from our customers and see where this journey will take us.”
Asda aims to make all packaging of its own brand products – of whatever material – 100% recyclable by 2025.