Asda has joined forces with some of the U.K.’s best known brands to launch its first ‘test and learn’ sustainability store in Leeds, England, with a mission to find new ways to reduce plastic and encourage customers to reuse and refill.
From May, the Leeds based store will become the first Asda in the U.K. where shoppers can fill up their own containers of products, including Asda’s own-brand coffee, rice and pasta.
The supermarket has also asked well known household brands to work with them on their quest to reduce plastic – meaning shoppers will also be able to use refill points Kellogg’s cereals such as Coco Pops and Rice Krispies and Unilever’s PG Tips tea.
Shoppers will be asked to give their feedback on different trials, allowing Asda and its suppliers to understand more about how the new ideas work in practice. Trials will last for at least three months before a decision is made on whether to roll out, retrial or stop.
In addition to the refill stations, the store will include a ‘naked florist’ offering plastic-free flowers and loose produce with items such as cucumbers and mushrooms being taken out of their plastic packaging. There will also be a range of new recycling facilities, including a reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans, hanger recycling and a deposit box for unwanted small plastic toys.
The move is part of Asda’s commitments to reduce the amount of plastic it uses. It has removed 8,000 tonnes from its own brand packaging since 2018, and commits to make almost a third of plastic packaging from recycled sources by the end of 2020, as well as reduce plastic by 15% by February 2021. The store will also make all packaging — of whatever material — 100% recyclable by 2025.