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Circular e-commerce platform Loop begins US pilot program

Loop, a circular e-commerce platform that aims to reduce single-use plastics and has signed up companies including The Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever PLC, Nestlé SA and Colgate-Palmolive Co., officially launched its pilot project in the U.S., according to a May 21 announcement.

Loop, which was developed by recycling company TerraCycle Inc., said it launched its pilot program in the mid-Atlantic region of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., with founding partners including retailers The Kroger Co. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., as well as consumer goods producers PepsiCo Inc., The Clorox Co., Natura Cosméticos SA's The Body Shop International Ltd., SC Johnson & Son Inc., and more.

The program already launched in Paris in partnership with Carrefour SA and in the U.K. through a deal with Tesco PLC. Loop also plans to roll out the service in Canada, Germany and Japan soon.

The e-commerce platform offers a range of commonly used products from consumer brands in customized, brand-specific durable packaging that is delivered in a reusable shipping tote, according to the release.

Customers can order products through Loop's website or through Kroger and Walgreens' online marketplaces and have them delivered in Loop's shipping tote. Consumers can place the empty containers into their Loop totes and schedule a pickup online.

The packaging is then collected, cleaned, refilled and reused, creating a circular shopping system. Loop has partnered with United Parcel Service Inc. to deliver and collect the products.

Colgate said it started developing durable packaging designs for Loop and plans to begin with mouthwash in the pilot programs before expanding to other oral products and additional categories. Colgate said it has worked with TerraCycle internationally for nearly a decade to collect hard-to-recycle toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and other oral care waste.

For its part, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, which produces Lysol disinfectants and Veet hair removal creams, said it will start with reusable packaging for its heart, brain, joints and immune system supplements Airborne, MegaRed, Move Free and Neuriva.

Loop also entered into a real estate partnership with Brookfield Property Partners LP to offer the shopping platform first in New York as an amenity to employees at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan and to residents at One Blue Slip at Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn.