Kroger focusing more on reusable packaging that consumers may return to stores

This photos provided by North America Public Relations shows Loop reusable packaging at French supermarket.  Reusable packaging is about to become more common at groceries and restaurants worldwide. Loop, which collects and sanitizes reusable containers, said Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 it’s expanding after successful trials in France and Japan.  Kroger and Walgreens in the U.S., and Tesco in the United Kingdom are among the groceries partnering with Loop. McDonald’s, Burger King and Tim Hortons have also signed on. (North America Public Relations via AP)

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This photos provided by North America Public Relations shows Loop reusable packaging at French supermarket. Reusable packaging is about to become more common at groceries and restaurants worldwide. Loop, which collects and sanitizes reusable containers, said Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 it’s expanding after successful trials in France and Japan. Kroger and Walgreens in the U.S., and Tesco in the United Kingdom are among the groceries partnering with Loop. McDonald’s, Burger King and Tim Hortons have also signed on. (North America Public Relations via AP)

There could soon be a time when a local Kroger customer who purchases a beverage in a glass bottle, hand soap in a plastic bottle or a stainless steel container of disinfectant wipes gets one in packaging that was in use before.

Those are just some of the products that may come in “circular reuse” packaging. Kroger is working with a firm called Loop to expand sustainability to its private label brands, the company said in a news release.

Loop recovers and sanitizes reusable packaging for recirculation with new products.

It was announced in February that Kroger and Loop launched the partnership through a program at dozens of Fred Meyers stores in Portland, OR.

Goods that qualify for the circular reuse program are identified in stores with branded displays, Kroger says. Consumers may refill the containers or they may return the empty containers to Loop collection bins in stores.

Customers who return containers are charged a small deposit at the point of purchase, and the cost depends on the item. For example, it may cost 15 cents to recycle a bottle through Loop and it may be $10 for a stainless steel container of disinfecting wipes.

They are refunded upon returning containers.

Loop picks up the containers from the collection sites, processes them by cleaning and refilling them, and then gets them to stores for purchase once again.

It is adding more brands throughout this year, but some of the brands currently participating include Arbor Teas, Cascade, Clorox, Gerber, Nature’s Heart, Nature’s Path, Pantene, Seventh Generation, Stubb’s and Simple Truth by Kroger.

Non-consumer store items also qualify for circular reuse programs, including pallets and drums often used for shipping and loading.

In the U.S., Tim Horton’s, Burger King and Walgreens also have circular reuse partnerships with Loop.

Kroger has not said when the Loop program might roll out nationally.

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