Inside Asda's new sustainability store where you bring your own containers

Inside Asda's new sustainability store where you bring your own containers

Asda has opened their first sustainability store in Leeds with customers able to get everything from pasta to Vimto in their own containers.

The store in Middleton is a trial and will be used to test what they can roll out across all stores across the UK.

Asda estimates the numerous initiatives being trialled in Middleton will save one million pieces of plastic per year.

The supermarket has also launched a ‘Greener at Asda Price’ across all stores, guaranteeing that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than wrapped equivalents.

It’s not the first supermarket to introduce refill stations – Waitrose started trying them out last year, while M&S and Sainsbury’s have been trying them this year – but this is one of the biggest.

The new store was due to launch in May but as delayed by coronavirus and finally opened this week.

It includes refill stations offering customers a selection of more than 30 household staples, sold without packaging.

Products include Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta.

It’s not just food – you can also get popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, Persil laundry detergent, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox.

There are also 53 fresh lines, with 29 items being sold unwrapped for the first time, including cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes. All Asda plants and flowers are sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping.

The outer plastic wrapping Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks has also been removed at this store.

There are also a number of services in the store to help people be more eco-friendly.

There are recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes.

Customers will be able to recycle cans, plastic, glass drinks bottles and hangers at their first reverse vending machine.

For clothing, the store will only stock what they call ‘sustainable fashion lines’ including clothing made from recycled polyester and coat hanger-less denim.

Asda is also partnering with charities with a Drop and Shop outlet for customers to donate their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac seven days a week, and there is a collaboration with Pre-Loved – a vintage wholesaler who will be selling bespoke vintage clothing from well-known brands.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s CEO and President said:’Today marks an important milestone in our journey as we tackle plastic pollution and help our customers to reduce, re-use and recycle.

‘We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with more than twenty of our partners and suppliers, who have answered the call to test innovative sustainable solutions with us.

‘This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80% believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce the amount of single use plastics in stores.

‘We want to give them the opportunity to live more sustainably by offering them great product choices and value, underpinned by a promise that they won’t pay more for greener options at Asda.

‘During the next few months we will listen to customers and colleagues’ feedback on Middleton so we can understand how we can continue to reduce our environmental impacts, whilst continuing to deliver quality service at a great price.’

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