Co-op and Unilever launch packaging trial

The Co-op and Unilever have partnered to launch a new packaging trial in a bid to boost sustainability.  

The companies will start the trial in two stores with the aim of understanding customer behaviour towards refillable and reusable packaging in a convenience location.  

The scheme is set to test two models: “Refill on the go” and “Return on the go.” 

It will feature Unilever brands including Radox, Persil, Alberto Balsam and Simple, sold in reusable stainless-steel bottles for customers to reuse and cut down on plastic use. 

The ‘Return on the go’ model allows consumers to pick up pre-filled bottles to return in-store once used, and the ‘refill on the go’ option allows customers to buy and re-use bottles using a standalone in-store refill machine.  

READ MORE: Midcounties Co-op launches click-and-collect scheme across 25 locations

The initiative is taking place at the convenience retailer’s Wolverhampton Road, Codsall location, and will launch at its Marsh, Huddersfield store later this month. 

“The refillable packaging trials with Unilever are designed to test and learn from consumer behaviour, while providing easy and quick ways for shoppers to cut their plastic consumption,” Co-op head of format development Ian McCutchion said. 

“We are facing into a climate and environmental crisis and we need to act now to support consumers in making ethical purchase decisions.” 

Unilever UK and Ireland general manager Sebastian Munden added: “There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ for reuse and refill. 

“We continue to test different models, store formats and locations across the UK to see how shoppers respond, what works best and where we need to adapt and change. 

“Working with partners like Co-op, we can help people … reduce the single use of virgin plastic with the speed and urgency needed.” 

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