15/09/21 - Business in Brief

Tesco partners with Loop to launch in-store reuse system

Tesco has partnered with global reusable packaging platform Loop to launch an in-store reuse system for customers in 10 Tesco stores in the east of England. Customers will be able to buy products in prefilled reusable packaging as part of their regular shop, returning containers to the store when finished to be cleaned, refilled, and used again.

The new reusable range of 88 products will include brands such as Persil, Fever-Tree, Carex, Tetley Tea and BrewDog. Thirty-five own-brand essentials have also been included in the range, such as pasta, rice, oil and sugar. According to the retailer, more products will be added throughout the year.

The retailer states that prices for the contents of each item are ‘comparable’ to the original, with a fully refundable deposit paid on each reusable product at checkout, starting at £0.20. Once the packaging is returned, the deposit is refunded via an app.

Tesco has emphasised the impact of switching to reusable packaging, asserting that if customers in the ten stores switched their recyclable ketchup, cola and washing up liquid bottles to the reusable Heinz, Coca-Cola and Ecover alternatives, the packaging would be reused more than two and a half million times a year.

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO, said: “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers. Bringing Loop to our stores is a significant milestone in this journey. With 88 everyday products available, we’re giving customers a wide range of options and we’ll learn as much as we can from this to inform our future packaging plans.”

Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle, added: "The consumer reaction to Loop in these first Tesco stores will prove pivotal in refining the Loop offering and ultimately we hope to scale reuse across more stores and the number of product lines available. Tesco is the perfect partner to bring Loop to retail in the UK due to its commitment to sustainability, in combating plastics waste and in its operational scale as the UK’s biggest grocery retailer.”

Limerick café launches plastic-free ButterflyCup

Limerick-based 1930 Café has launched a range of plastic-free and lidless takeaway cups.

The café will be using ButterflyCup drinking vessels as a headline item in the initiative, which can be disposed of in mainstream paper recycling.

Unlike traditional takeaway cups, the ButterflyCup does not contain a plastic laminate lining and is certified as fully recyclable and home compostable. In addition, the all-in-one design eliminates the need for a plastic lid.

ButterflyCup states that its product also degrades naturally, at the same speed as raw paper, leaving no microplastic or toxic residues.

Recycling List Ireland estimates that some 200 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away each year. ButterflyCup predicts it will save more than 1 million plastic coffee cups and lids a year by using the new plastic-free vessel.

Tommy McLoughlin, Founder and CEO of ButterflyCup, commented: “In Ireland we use hundreds of thousands of plastic coffee cups each day, with the vast majority ending up in landfill or as environmental litter.

“For too long this issue has gone unchecked. We want to solve this problem with the world’s most environmentally friendly disposable cup - a cup that won’t leave a lasting negative impact on the planet.

“We are thrilled that 1930 Café has adopted ButterflyCup and is doing its bit to address the plastic crisis the world is facing.”

Valpak strengthens East Devon recycling partnership

Valpak has announced the strengthening of its partnership with East Devon District Council, providing additional funding for the council’s waste electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE) collection service.

The move will see Valpak fund the transportation of waste electronics from a transfer station to a local recycler in addition to the cost of recycling itself.

The increased financial support will also mean that small domestic appliances (SDA) - such as kettles, toasters and irons - can continue to be included in the household collection service, so residents will not have to take their electrical waste to a civic amenity site. Valpak asserts that this should ensure that the material continues to be recycled, reducing the amount that ends up at landfill. 

Commenting on the decision to extend its funding support Valpak’s Commercial Manager, James Nash, said: “Securing the provision of East Devon’s waste electronics collection service makes environmental and commercial sense for all parties.

“We are delighted that we have been able to further strengthen our partnership and preserve these valuable secondary resources including metals and plastics so they can be recycled. This prevents any damaging environmental impact and supports the development of the circular economy.”

World’s first green submarine amongst winners of clean maritime competition

The world’s first-ever green submarine has been named as one of 55 winning projects of a £23 million government-funded research and development competition, announced today (15 September).

Oceanways’ vessel was entered into The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which supports the development of technology tasked with propelling forward the Government’s commitment to have zero-emission ships operating commercially by 2025.

A fully automated net-positive submarine fleet, powered entirely on green hydrogen, could help cleanse the oceans of toxic pollution by collecting microplastics on its pilot route between Glasgow and Belfast, according to Oceanways.

The company states that whilst transporting cargo shipments the fleet could secure emission savings of 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year of operation, with an overall mission to reduce 300m tonnes of carbon dioxide emission as the fleet grows.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented: “As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is only right that we lead by example when it comes to decarbonising the sector and building back greener.”  

Founder and CEO of Oceanways, Dhruv Boruah, said: “We would like to thank our Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP for selecting Oceanways to support the Department for Transport’s (DfT) mission to decarbonise shipping and aid our Prime Minister's commitment to build back better.

“Time is running out and it is imperative we don’t settle for 1 per cent more efficiency in an existing system, but instead radically re-think to create innovative solutions.”