Asda works with suppliers to open 'sustainability store'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
21 October 2020

Asda has partnered with suppliers to open a “sustainability store” to cut plastics use and promote recycling.

The store, in Middleton, Leeds, has 15 refill stations with more than 30 staples including cereals, teabags, coffee beans, rice, pasta, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent and shower gel available in a refillable format.

More than 50 lines of fruit and veg are sold loose and unwrapped and the outer plastic wrapping has been removed from several lines of canned multipacks.

Recycling facilities are available for difficult-to-recycle items including crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes.

Asda said elements of the test store, which it estimated will save 1m pieces of plastic per year, could be scaled and potentially rolled out to more locations in 2021.

The supermarket collaborated with brands including PG Tips, Vimto, Kellogg’s, Radox and Persil to create the store.

Along with the store opening, Asda has unveiled new targets to remove 3bn pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025, introduce 40 refillable products by 2023, and invest in 50 closed loop and circular projects by 2030. The company has committed to generating zero carbon emissions by 2040 and cutting waste by 50% and having a “net regenerative impact on nature” no later than 2050.

Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and president, said: “We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with more than twenty of our partners and suppliers, who have answered the call to test innovative sustainable solutions with us.

“This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80% believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce the amount of single use plastics in stores.”

Nina Schrank, lead plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Asda’s new sustainability store reflects what people are looking for – the opportunity to go plastic free. By offering innovative refill stations, loose fruit and vegetables and plenty of sustainably-sourced household goods, they have bought what used to be a niche shopping experience into the mainstream, all under one roof.

“We hope that this store is the first of many; we need to see so much more of this from across the supermarket sector. UK consumers want to ditch plastic. The supermarket sector needs to listen to its customers and shift to plastic-free groceries and reuse and refill options both in-store and throughout their online delivery operations.”

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