Loop – The new zero-waste online shopping project

Some of the world’s biggest consumer brands are teaming up with a newly announced “zero-waste” online shopping company, Loop. Revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Loop is a shopping platform that aims to save customers the hassle of recycling by implementing the “milkman” model.

Loop works by customers placing orders online as usual, but they pay an additional deposit for the reusable packing that comes with every item. In the US, the items are then sent and collected by UPS. Each item comes in its custom-branded container which each look to utilise sturdy, and environmentally safe materials. When you are finished with the item, it goes back to the courier who whisks it away to a cleaning and sanitisation factory.

Loops are set to have around 300 items on its site including Tide detergent, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Axe deodorant, Coca-Cola and Pampers diapers. The service is set to roll out to consumers in New York and Paris this May, with plans to expand to London later in 2019 and Toronto, Tokyo, and San Francisco in 2020.

The delivery service is run by waste management company TerraCycle, which has been working on this project for over a year. “We realised that recycling and using recycled content is about trying to do the best you can with waste, but it's not solving the foundational reason we have waste,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle’s CEO and co-founder. “We did a lot of reflection on that and realised that the foundational cause of garbage is disposability and single-use. We tried to come up with a way to solve for disposability but maintain the virtues of disposability, which are convenience and affordability.”