Climate Action

Asda joins forces with big brands to launch first sustainability trial store

Asda has announced plans to trial a new sustainable store in Leeds to tackle plastic pollution.

  • 17 January 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

Asda has announced plans to trial a new sustainable store in Leeds to tackle plastic pollution.

Asda has joined forces with some of the UK’s best-known brands to launch its first ‘test and learn’ sustainability store to find new ways to reduce plastic and encourage customers to reuse and refill.

From May, the Leeds based store will become the first Asda in the UK where shoppers can fill up their own containers of products.

To ensure that they are tackling plastic pollution from all sources, Asda has teamed up with well know brands, meaning shoppers will also be able to use refill points Kellogg’s cereals such as Coco Pops and Rice Krispies and Unilever’s PG Tips tea.

Customers shopping at the store will be asked to give their feedback, after three months Asda will decide if the trial was successful and whether the initiative can be scaled up across the country.

In addition to the refill stations, the store will include a ‘naked florist’ offering plastic-free flowers and loose produce with items such as cucumbers and mushrooms being taken out of their plastic packaging.

To encourage recycling, the store will have reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans, hanger recycling and a deposit box for unwanted small plastic toys.

Roger Burnley, CEO of Asda, said: “We’re on an ongoing quest to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our business – and to find new ways to help our customers to reuse and refill our products. It’s a journey we can’t go on alone, which is why we invited our suppliers to innovate with us and I’m delighted that household names like Kellogg’s and Unilever have joined us in testing new ideas and approaches to sustainability at our Middleton store.

"Over the coming weeks and months, we will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impacts whilst still maintaining the great service and quality our customers demand. Our first priority will be to look at how we can reduce and remove plastic and I am excited to learn from our customers and see where this journey will take us.”

Asda has committed to making all packaging, of whatever material, 100% recyclable by 2025. They are also implementing measures to ensure they are reducing the amount of plastic they use. Since, 2018, they have removed 8,000 tonnes from its own brand packaging.

Last year, the supermarket trialled a second-hand clothes initiative to promote sustainable fashion. The ‘Re-Loved’ pop up shop, opened in the Milton Keynes store, featured donated second-hand clothes from a number of different brands.

Photograph: Elliott Brown