Loblaw expects seamless Loop integration

by Stephanie Wallcraft
PC products will be the first available in Loop’s reusable containers.

Loblaw Companies will not need to make any up-front investment in or changes to its logistics cycles to incorporate reusable packaging partner Loop into its operations, a spokesperson for the company says.

“In the first phase, Loop is responsible for the logistics from the storing and delivery of the goods to consumers, so there will be no impact on our logistics,” Catherine Thomas, senior director of external communication for Loblaw Companies Limited, told Inside Logistics.

Loop, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Terracycle, integrates reusable packaging product cycles into existing retail environments. It will kick off the service by selling President’s Choice products in reusable packaging entirely through the Loop + Loblaw online purchasing platform. This system will be accessible via the PC Express website but will transact independently.

Should the Canadian pilot be successful with its Toronto launch, both parties intend for Loblaw to become more involved as Loop’s processes become integrated directly into the retailer’s online platform and, eventually, into in-store applications and across additional markets.

Product returns will also fall under Loop’s purview, which will not present logistics challenges. “A return will not impact the logistics cycle in any way,” says Lauren Taylor, Loop Global’s vice-president of creative and communications. “Each Loop company owns its own package, so each company will handle any product dissatisfaction.”

Loop maintains a rigorous sanitation process that ensures high hygiene standards as containers are reused. They will be washed above 150°F with a sodium hydroxide solution, then rinsed over 180°F with a mild acid sanitizer. Last, the containers will be rinsed with deionized water.

“Loop has partnered with manufacturers to implement stringent Quality Assurance processes throughout each stage of our cleaning and fulfillment systems, so consumers are receiving products that are entirely safe for consumption. Loop will also follow strict reporting processes to ensure that any adverse events or quality complaints are immediately escalated and addressed by both Loop and the manufacturer of the product.”

The Toronto pilot project is one of several worldwide. Loop is currently active in Paris and New York, and launches are in the works for London (U.K.), Tokyo, Germany, and California.