Aiming to eliminate excess waste.

Re-usable packaging gets the WRAP treatment

Published:  23 July, 2009

BANBURY: The United Kingdom's Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has unveiled a series of pilot programmes designed to test reusable packaging for retail items. 

The trials are intended to explore the commercial viability of the reusable packaging to determine the amount of materials needed for their use and the amount of waste generated. Several retail environments will be used, such as supermarkets and home improvement locations.

"This work could, when combined with growing consumer trends, spark a 'reusables revolution' in consumer packaging – building on the growing recognition of the contribution reusable packaging can play in the supply chain," said Mike Robey, WRAP's retail programme manager for home improvement.

Supermarket chain Asda plans to begin testing refillable fabric softener packaging in September in a move that could one day lead the company to drop the price of the product. The pouches can be re-used 10 times and could reduce packaging by some 90%.

Other test pilots include a project that will let Crown Paints customers return polypropylene paint containers to stories for cleaning and re-fill.

Home improvement store B&Q will also try out reusable packaging for the delivery of long items, such as skirting boards or baseboards.

The reusable packaging prototype can be used in more than 20 trips, preliminary results show.

The results of the programme tests will be made public through 2010.

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