Asda extends refill scheme across four more stores

Asda has announced it will sell unpackaged products in an extra four stores, after the trial was “embraced” by customers in Middleton.

Branches in York, Milton Keynes, Rugby and Glasgow will use refill stations to sell own-label products and recognisable brands, including Kellogg’s and Persil.

York will have the largest offering, with 18 standalone bays set to be installed by October.

Milton Keynes will have nine bays open by December, although unpackaged pet food, detergent and toiletries will be sold in regular aisles.

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Asda’s refill selections in Rugby and Glasgow, which are understood to be more low-key, will launch in August.

The Big 4 grocer first started selling packaging-free products at its Middleton branch in October last year.

“We know that reducing packaging waste matters to our customers and they have embraced the refill options available at the Middleton store,” Asda sustainability director Susan Thomas said.

“Our ultimate goal is to make refill and reuse a part of every Asda shopping trip and to achieve this we have to make it easy, accessible and affordable for all our customers to shop this way.”

She added that the retailer was “trialling different refill options” to “understand which aspects can [be] potentially developed further”.

Asda’s combination of standalone and integrated bays reflects a wider debate in the grocery sector.

Traditionally, refill stations are given a dedicated space in stores, but Waitrose claimed that moving unpackaged products into regular aisles at its Wallingford branch increased sales by a fifth.

The supermarket, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, started selling unpackaged products in June 2019.

Two weeks ago, it expanded the range of refillables to include loose tea and dried fruits.

In April, Aldi launched its own packaging-free programme at its Ulverston store, claiming that extending the initiative could save 130 tonnes of plastic every year.



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