// Asda to launch its first “sustainability store” at its Middleton branch in Leeds
// It forms part of efforts to crack down on the amount of plastic it uses in its supermarkets
// Asda’s existing store in Middleton will have new concepts to “encourage customers to reuse and refill” their plastics
Asda has unveiled plans to launch its first “sustainability store” at its Middleton branch in Leeds as part of its latest commitment to be more environmentally friendly.
The Big 4 grocer’s existing store in Middleton will soon be installed with new concepts to “encourage customers to reuse and refill” their plastics.
From May, the store will become the first Asda store in the UK where shoppers can fill up their own containers of products, including Asda’s own-brand coffee, rice and pasta, as well as products from well-known brands such as Kellogg’s cereals or PG Tips tea.
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The Middleton store will also 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.
In addition, there will be a range of new recycling facilities, including a reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans and hanger recycling.
As part of the trial, customers shopping at the Middleton store will be asked to give their feedback on the new concepts.
The trials will last for at least three months before a decision is made on whether to roll it out to other stores, retrial or stop.
“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,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“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.”
The new sustainability concept store at Middleton is part of Asda’s commitments to reduce the amount of plastic it uses.
The retailer said it has removed 8000 tonnes from its own-brand packaging since 2018, and recently it recently brought forward commitments to make almost a third of plastic packaging from recycled sources by the end of 2020 as well as reduce plastic by 15 per cent by February 2021.
Asda also pledged to make all packaging – of whatever material – 100 per cent recyclable by 2025.