Companies huddle up in the grocery aisle to save the planet
- Imagine a future where the mail-man comes to your door, picks up your empty detergent bottle and deodorant stick, then refills and place back on your Brooklyn doorstep. Welcome to summer 2019! Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever are among 25 companies that will start selling some of its products in reusable containers designed to be returned, cleaned and refilled, as a way of reducing the paper and plastic waste around the world.
Unilever plans to start this initiative in NYC, Paris, and London in May, by selling nine of its household brands in reusable containers. It hopes that selling its Axe and Dove stick deodorants in a refillable steel container will last a consumer up to eight years, thereby eliminating the 100s of deodorant containers disposed of per person each year. PepsiCo will sell its Tropicana orange juice in a glass bottle and some of its Quaker cereal in a stainless-steel container. While P&G will sell its “Pantene shampoo in an aluminum bottle and Tide laundry detergent in a stainless-steel container.”
So how will this new eco-conscious wave all work out? - About 5,000 shoppers will be selected for the trial, then these shoppers will be able to order hundreds of products from the 25 companies through a website, and it is only for home delivery. Your products will arrive in a reusable tote. After the products have been consumed, you’d schedule a pickup for empty containers to be cleaned and refilled. All of this would be handled through a subscription-based service by TerraCycle, to clean the containers and replenish the products once empty containers are returned.
Although the products will cost roughly the same as the single-use versions currently in your neighborhood bodegas today, however, users will still have to “pay a deposit of $1-$10 per container. Shipping charges start at roughly $20.” Saving the planet ain’t free.