The loop box will be picked up at home

The private US recycling company TerraCycle launched its new innovative business model Loop in January 2019 on an important stage: the World Economic Forum in Davos.

TerraCycle itself first became known for developing recycling methods for products that are considered non-recyclable, such as diapers, chewing gum and disposable rubber gloves. Next, the company manufactured products from recycled materials, such as Head & Shoulders bottles made of Oceanplastic.

With Loop, the company now goes one step further. Loop is a circular business model in which everyday consumer goods are sold in high-quality, reusable packaging and in this way waste is not created in the first place through disposable packaging. In addition, the aim is to change consumer behaviour in the long term.

The system works as follows: Consumers order their everyday products such as shampoo, mouthwash, ice cream etc. online either in the Loopstore or from an authorised Loop dealer. The goods in specially designed, high-quality packaging – for Häagen Dazs ice cream, for example, this is a solid metal can – are then delivered home in the reusable loop box. This eliminates the need for one-off shipping material such as cardboard boxes. But even beyond this, customers do not have to worry about disposing of waste from loop products, because they simply pack the empties back into the loop box. This is then collected free of charge from home on an agreed date. The packaging inside is then cleaned, refilled and delivered to the customer again. This is therefore a subscription system.

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The Loop concept was only made possible by first finding partners from the consumer goods industry who were willing to design new, high-quality packaging for some of their products and participate in the Loop system. According to Tom Szaky, CEO and co-founder of Terra Cycle, „it took a phenomenal amount of discussion, persuasion and meetings to get the first

From the outset, it seemed easier to win over consumers. „The response,“ says Szaky, „was overwhelming. It’s phenomenal how many people have signed up.“ In addition, according to Szaky, consumers want Loop to expand rapidly, both in terms of locations and product diversity. So Loop is looking for more partners.