Refill revolution

The world’s biggest multi-retailer refill trial is about to begin in the UK.

M&S, Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose & Partners and the supply chain solutions company CHEP were brought together in 2020 by Unpackaged to co-design an innovative refill solution that could significantly reduce the 56.5 billion units of single-use plastic packaging sold annually in the UK. The ambition is to test the system live in stores, and online, starting later in the year.

The Refill Coalition’s solution will reimagine how key food staples (such as pasta and grains) and household products (such as home and personal care products) are supplied and marks the first step in developing a worldwide standard for plastic-free food distribution from the supplier to the cupboard. Part of the system, being developed through the coalition, is a bulk home delivery refill solution - an industry first.

Subject to a successful trial, Coalition retailers will roll out refill stations across their stores and online.

M&S, Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose & Partners and CHEP jointly stated: "We're delighted to be joining forces with the mutual objective of reducing single-use plastic packaging. The universal end-to-end solution being developed by The Refill Coalition presents a landmark opportunity for us to make a step change in the commercialisation of refills which we know can play a significant role in the reduction of single-use plastic packaging.”

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