‘Big Four’ UK supermarket chain Asda has announced plans to address the challenge of reducing plastic waste by opening a “test and learn sustainability store” in Leeds that will allow consumers to bring in their own containers and refill with a variety of dried goods.
Launching in May, the store will use dedicated refill stations to allow consumers to make packaging-free purchases of Asda own-brand coffee, rice and pasta, as well as Kellogg’s Coco Pops and Rice Krispies cereal and Unilever’s PG Tips tea. The store will also sell fresh produce such as cucumbers and mushrooms loose rather than packaged, Asda said.
The move follows a trial of refill stations by rival retailer Waitrose at a store in Oxford last year, as part of its “Waitrose Unpacked” initiative.
Commenting on the concept, Asda CEO Roger Burnley said: “Over the coming weeks and months we will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impacts whilst still maintaining the great service and quality our customers demand. Our first priority will be to look at how we can reduce and remove plastic and I am excited to learn from our customers and see where this journey will take us”.
The retailer said the new test store formed part of its commitments to reduce the amount of plastic it uses, which also includes making all packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.