// Asda unveils brand new sustainability concept store in Middleton, Leeds
// The pilot store features product refill options, loose and unwrapped produce, recyclable facilities & sustainable fashion
// The store will be used to test and learn which elements can be rolled out in 2021
Asda has opened its brand new sustainability concept store in Leeds, featuring product refill options, loose and unwrapped produce and a pledge that “customers will not pay more for greener options”.
The opening of the pilot store in Middleton, Leeds, was accompanied by a new plastics reduction strategy that aims to remove 3 billion pieces of plastic from Asda’s own-brand products by 2025.
Asda said the store would “help shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle with ease”, with estimates that the numerous initiatives being trailed in Middleton will save one million pieces of plastic per year.
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The Big 4 giant added it would use the Middleton store to test and learn which elements of its new offer appeal most to customers and can be developed at scale so it can be rolled out to more locations next year.
Asda also used the store opening to launch “Greener at Asda Price”, a national price promise that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than wrapped equivalents.
The pilot sustainability store features:
- 15 huge refill stations offering customers a selection of more than 30 household staples sold in refillable format.
- Products include a selection of different Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta.
- The refill zone includes popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, Persil laundry detergent, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox sold in refillable format – a retail first.
- 53 fresh produce lines in total sold in loose and unwrapped format including 29 new lines such as cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes. In addition, all Asda plants and flowers are sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping.
- Removal of the outer plastic wrapping on several popular Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks including beans and soups.
- Recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes.
- Asda’s first reverse vending machine for cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles and a hanger recycling facility that will be rolled out across all stores.
- The store will also showcase sustainable fashion lines through George including clothing made from recycled polyester and coat hanger-less denim.
- A new community zone for pop ups and partnerships with charities; the first is a three-month trial with the Salvation Army of a Drop and Shop outlet for customers to donate their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac seven days a week.
- A partnership with Pre-Loved, a vintage wholesaler who will be selling bespoke vintage clothing from well-known brands.
Meanwhile, Asda’s new strategy for plastics and sustainability features a pledge to generate zero carbon emissions by 2040, reduce waste by 50 per cent and have a net regenerative impact on nature no later than 2050.
In 2018, Asda set a weight-based target of 15 per cent reduction in plastic packaging by 2021, with the company removing over 9300 tonnes of plastic from their own brand products since then.
Now it has introduced an additional commitment to remove 3 billion pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025.
It has also committed to introduce over 40 refillable products by 2023 and invest in 50 closed loop and circular projects by 2030, working closely with waste management companies, recyclers and product developers.
“Today marks an important milestone in our journey as we tackle plastic pollution and help our customers to reduce, re-use and recycle,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with more than twenty of our partners and suppliers, who have answered the call to test innovative sustainable solutions with us.
“This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80 per cent believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce the amount of single use plastics in stores.
“We want to give them the opportunity to live more sustainably by offering them great product choices and value, underpinned by a promise that they won’t pay more for greener options at Asda.
“During the next few months we will listen to customers and colleagues’ feedback on Middleton so we can understand how we can continue to reduce our environmental impacts, whilst continuing to deliver quality service at a great price.”