Kroger Expands Reusable Packaging Offering Through Loop Partnership

by Katie Lee

Cleveland, Ohio — Kroger has launched an assortment of reusable products in select U.S. stores via its partnership with circular packaging firm Loop. Spanning Kroger’s private label brands as well as other major food and household brands, the move marks an important expansion in the grocery retailer’s larger sustainability efforts:

  • Developed by circular reuse platform TerraCycle, Loop recovers and sanitizes reusable packaging for recirculation with new products. Subscribers pay a deposit ranging from 15 cents for a glass beverage bottle to $10 for a stainless steel container of disinfecting wipes.
  • Participating manufacturers introduce products that employ reusable packaging. These products are placed in a designated Loop section of participating retail establishments, which serve as the collection site for end users to return the packaging when the contents are consumed.
  • In 2021, Loop announced its global subscriber network had grown from about a dozen participating companies worldwide in 2020 to 150 in 2022. In addition to Kroger, both independent brands and other major packaging end users including Nestle are expanding their reusable packaging options for their part in the program.

While reuse systems are well established for packaging products such as pallets and drums that are typically handled by non-consumer end users, reusable packaging is of increasing interest in consumer markets, as well, due to the potential sustainability benefits:

  • According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, converting 20% of global plastic packaging into reusable packaging represents a $10 billion business opportunity.
  • When end users reuse the packaging as intended, these items are less likely to enter solid waste streams — whether recycling or composting facilities, or the landfill — thereby reducing the total volume of packaging waste.
  • In addition, recirculated packaging reduces the overall material requirements of packaging production as fewer new products are needed.

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SOURCE: The Freedonia Group

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