A raft of global food and drinks companies have signed up to a new environmental initiative in the US to combat the use of plastics in packaging.

US-based recycling firm TerraCycle has kicked off a project called Loop, which is geared toward reducing waste from discarded packaging and is based on a subscription-type model where goods are shipped direct to people’s homes in reusable containers.

Nestlé, Mondelez International, Unilever, Danone, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are among the consumer goods firms for food and drinks that are participants in Loop, which will trial in Paris in May.

Switzerland-based Nestlé said in a statement today (24 January) it is a founding investor and partner in Loop, along with Unilever. The company added that its Häagen-Dazs ice cream brand “is the official ice cream partner for the pilot project”, which is set to launch in the first half of 2019.

Nestlé will use a “reusable double-walled steel ice cream container” to ship the product to people’s homes. 

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By GlobalData

Laurent Freixe, the chief executive for Nestlé’s Americas operations, said: “Loop provides a much-needed innovation platform, challenging companies to take a fresh look at our value chains and integrate reusable product packaging as part of our efforts to waste-reduction. It’s [Loop] a critical part of our commitment to work with consumers to protect our planet for future generations.” 

Danone is committing its Evian water brand to the project using returnable glass bottles. 

At US confectionery giant Mondelez, four stainless steel containers have been developed to deliver its Milka chocolate brand, with customers able to “subscribe online to receive customised and brand-specific durable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and reusable”. 

Meanwhile, Anglo-Dutch consumer goods heavyweight Unilever said it will trial reusable packaging made from aluminium and glass under the Loop project. The company’s Hellman’s condiments brand is the only food item in its list, with the others being skincare brand Ren Clean Skincare, Love Beauty and Planet, Love Home and Planet, and Seventh Generation.

Alan Jope, Unilever’s newly-installed chief executive, said: “We want to put an end to the current ‘take-make-dispose’ culture and are committed to taking big steps towards designing our products for re-use. We’re proud to be a founding partner of Loop, which will deliver our much-loved brands in packaging which is truly circular by design.” 

PepsiCo said it will be involved in the trial of Loop in Paris and will offer its Quaker Cruesli breakfast product and Tropicana fruit juices via the programme.

By taking part in Loop, the company said it expands its sustainability commitments.

“Our participation in Loop builds on this commitment, as well as providing the added convenience of e-commerce and home delivery,” PepsiCo said in a statement. “Initially we will be launching Quaker and Tropicana offerings in Paris and have created vessels which we hope will excite our consumers, combining durability, which is needed for reuse, with high aesthetic design.”