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Loop Brings Reusable Packaging to the World's Biggest Brands

2019-02-11 10:00 Monday

At the Loop event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a group of blue-chip companies are experimenting with a new high-quality packaging system that can be recycled and refilled. Essentially, Loop aims to change the ownership model for packaging from consumers to producers.

The new packaging model is the culmination of more than a year of efforts by TerraCycle. The New Jersey-based company is well known for turning hard-to-recycle waste, such as juice boxes, coffee capsules, plastic gloves and cigarette filters, into new products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle has been working with major consumer brands, retailers, manufacturers, municipalities and small businesses in more than 20 countries.

TerraCycle has developed partnerships with major FMCG and retailers around the world, including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Pepsi, Unilever, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Danone, and Carrefour, as well as logistics company UPS and resource-management company Suez.


The service will be available in two markets this spring: Île-de-France, in north-central France, and the New York area which includes parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

"The point is that we can't just recycle our way out of the garbage crisis," said Tom Szaky, CEO and co-founder of TerraCycle. "We need fundamental change."

In simple terms, the Loop packaging system uses a "milkman mode," in which an empty product is picked up, cleaned, reassembled, and restocked for delivery to another customer after the product is delivered to the customer. The customer gets the product, but the company owns the packaging.

Loop is now expanding to brick-and-mortar retailers -- Europe's Carrefour and Tesco have signed up to launch it in stores later this year, though none of Loop's current partners has a U.S. retail presence.

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