UK retailer Asda has announced that it will pilot test its first 'sustainability store' in Leeds in May of this year.
Through this initiative, the retailer aims to reduce plastic use and encourage customers to reuse and refill.
The outlet will allow customers to bring their containers for purchasing private-label coffee, rice, and pasta.
It has also collaborated with household brands such as Kellogg’s and Unilever to introduce refill points for Coco Pops, Rice Krispies, and PG Tips tea.
'An Ongoing Quest'
Asda chief executive, Roger Burnley, 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."
The store will also include a ‘naked florist’ section, the retailer said, offering plastic-free flowers. It will also remove plastic packaging from cucumbers and mushrooms.
Asda will introduce a range of new recycling facilities in the store, including a reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans, hanger recycling, and a deposit box for small plastic toys.
The pilot project will last for three months, during which the retailer will take feedback from customers to decide the future course of the initiative.
'Testing And Learning'
"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," Burnley added.
"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.”
The store concept is part of Asda’s commitments to reduce the amount of plastic used in its operations.
Since 2018, the retailer has removed 8,000 tonnes of plastic from its own-brand packaging and has pledged to make one-third of its plastic packaging from recycled sources by the end of 2020.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.