Refillable groceries to be made available to every UK shopper

Good News Notes:

“’Every shopper in the UK’ will have access to refillable groceries in a large supermarket or with a delivery service under plans by some of the country’s biggest grocers.

Waitrose, Ocado, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and the supply-chain company CHEP have joined a refillable grocery partnership and plan to both roll out unpackaged options in-store as well as letting people fill containers with essentials during home deliveries.

These grocers are part of the Refill Coalition group, run by Unpackaged, a company that runs refill stations in stores including Planet Organic and in some independent local farm shops. The supermarkets plan to start the rollout by the end of the year.

Supermarkets are starting their refill lines with dry goods such as pasta, rice, cereals, seeds, grains, nuts and dried fruits; and will also offer household and personal care products such as washing-up liquid, laundry liquid, shampoo, and handwash.

There are 56.5bn units of single-use plastic packaging sold annually in the UK, according to Greenpeace. About 99% of plastic packaging is also made from fossil fuels.

Catherine Conway, the founder of Unpackaged said: “Working together to create a universal system gives us the best chance of scaling refills so they become accessible to every shopper in the UK, as we know consumers want less single-use plastic packaging on the items they buy.

“An industry-wide approach will lead to a refill system that works for everyone in the supply chain and will make refilling easier for shoppers.”

Supermarkets including Waitrose and M&S are trialling some refill stations in a handful of branches. The consumer group Which? found that items in the scheme were on average about 10-15% cheaper when loose….”

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