The milk man is making a comeback.
At the World Economic Forum on Thursday, the company announced Loop, an environmentally friendly delivery service that has the potential to radically change the retail industry — and it already has the backing of some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.
Loop isn’t entirely unlike Amazon. Customers visit a website, place an order, and TerraCycle delivers the goods.
Loop buyers won’t receive a big cardboard box containing their Pantene shampoo or Tide laundry detergent in the standard plastic bottles, though. Instead, each of the 300 or so products the company carries is encased in reusable packaging and delivered in a tote via UPS.
Once a customer finishes with a product, they place the empty package in the tote and schedule a free pick-up. UPS then collects the tote, and returns it to Loop, which cleans all the packaging, and refills, recycles, or reuses it. If the product is part of a subscription, Loop immediately sends a refilled container back to the customer — they don’t need to wait for a monthly delivery.
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TerraCycle has already landed big-name partners including Unilever, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and PepsiCo. It has Loop pilot projects scheduled to begin in New York and Paris in May, with London to follow later this year. Toronto, Tokyo, and San Francisco will join the party in 2020.
Customers interested in using Loop can now sign up for a waitlist on the service’s website. If the reusable packaging project takes off, it could help the world cut down on the plastic destroying our environment and hurting our health — all while simultaneously adding an extra level of convenience for shoppers.
READ MORE: How to Solve the World’s Plastics Problem: Bring Back the Milk Man [CNN]
More on plastic pollution: The EU Just Voted to Completely Ban Single-Use Plastics