Environment & Economy By Marian Zboraj 1320 Views

Loblaws Brings Waste-Free Shopping to Canada


One of Canada’s largest grocers, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (Loblaws), has partnered with the global reuse platform Loop to allow consumers to shop for products in durable packaging that's reused until the end of its life.

"Loop is designed to be as convenient as the single-use shopping experience while creating a sustainable, circular model for consumption,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle. “Collaboration is necessary to tackle the waste crisis head-on. As Canada’s largest retailer, Loblaw’s operational scale and years of expertise will make Loop accessible to more shoppers and make meaningful progress toward our shared goal of reducing waste.”

Loop operates in Canada as Loop CIRC, an initiative from TerraCycle, a waste management company based in Trenton, New Jersey.

Initially rolling out to residents in most of Ontario, customers can shop for a wide variety of food and household products in refillable packaging, such as ice cream, sauces, snacks, pet food and toothpaste.

Here's how Loop works: When ordering through www.loopstore.ca and maboutiqueloop.ca, consumers pay a deposit on each package that's fully refundable when it's returned. Packages are shipped using Loop Canada’s exclusive logistics provider, FedEx, which uses route optimization to help ensure efficient customer deliveries. After use, consumers place the empty containers back into the Loop Tote, and then return the tote by either scheduling a free pickup online or dropping it off at one of the more than 500 participating FedEx retail locations in Ontario. Loop sorts and professionally cleans the packaging and tote bags in accordance with stringent health and safety standards so that products can then be replenished as needed, creating a convenient zero-waste shopping system.

“The fact is that there’s too much plastic waste in our environment. We are part of the problem and must be part of the solution,” said Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaws. “We are actively reducing plastic waste in hundreds of ways in our business today through better processes, new materials and packaging design. Loop is one of the most innovative opportunities as we work with them to make it easier for consumers to be part of the solution.”

Examples of brands participating in Loop Canada include Häagen-Dazs, Heinz Ketchup and Hershey Canada, along with select private label President’s Choice products.

Loop has also expanded its partnership with Nature's Path, the organic breakfast cereal and snack food company, allowing customers to shop for the company's brands in reusable packaging. Richmond, British Columbia-based Nature's Path first joined Loop as one of its founding partners when the platform launched in New York in May 2019.

Loop became available across the United States last year. In addition to Canada and the United States, the Loop platform is available in the United Kingdom and France.

Partnering with Loop isn't Loblaws' first undertaking in waste reduction. Last year, the retailer committed an additional $1 million to onboard its banner stores onto Second Harvest's FoodRescue.ca platform, which helps eliminate food waste and support local communities. 

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 stores in Canada. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 13 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


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