Tesco tests an eco-friendly packaging scheme – and it’s on all our regular buys

A new eco-friendly service from the supermarket lets you put out your empties so they can be re-used

Tesco eco-friendly packaging is refillable
(Image credit: Loop with Tesco)

Forever scrutinising your shopping for eco-friendly packaging? Worry about how much waste your food shopping creates – even though you recycle as much as you can? Then you might like the idea of a new online shopping service that will bring products in re-usable packaging straight to your front door.

We’re not talking a small range of buys, nor items you wouldn’t really add to your online basket every week either. You can pick from 150 products and they include favourites such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Danone yoghurts, Coca Cola, as well as soap, cereal, washing detergents, and chocolate.

This eco-conscious service comes from supermarket giant Tesco, which has teamed up with Loop. It’s Loop which professionally cleans the packaging you return when you’ve used up the product inside. It can then be refilled by the manufacturers so the product can once again be delivered without creating new packaging waste.

Like the idea? Here’s how it works. 

Eco-friendly shopping

(Image credit: Loop/Tesco)

1. Place an order online of products from trusted brands, which will come in re-usable packaging. 

2. Your shopping will be delivered to your doorstep in a tote bag (which, of course, is re-usable, too). 

3. Return the packaging: once you’ve finished the food or household product, you put its packaging back into the tote and schedule a free pick-up, which you can time to coincide with your next delivery if you want. The tote bag of empties can also be returned at one of the drop-off points. 

4. Loop hygienically cleans and refills the containers you return, so you never run out

Other benefits? You will have to place a 100% refundable deposit on the packaging (yes, older readers, it is like those fizzy drink bottles you used to take back to the shop for some coins), but the deposit you paid on the packaging is refunded to you in full on return.

If the thought of packaging that’s not new is a concern to you, chief executive Tom Szaky, chief of executive of Loop, told BBC News, ‘When you go to the dentist, has it ever crossed your mind that the tools the dentist is using have been in hundreds, maybe thousands of mouths before yours? No? It comes down to cleaning.‘

The service is currently a pilot, and available in the mainland UK, although it’s envisaged that it will be expanded. Ready to give the service a go? Sign up now.

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.