The company is scaling up its refillable packaging trials to try and cut down on the amount of waste in its supply chain.
The trials will test different refill models, different store formats and in-store locations as well as testing the different shopper experiences that could enable long-term use of refillable products.
The expanded trials will be taking place in seven stores across the country, including Glasgow, York, Rugby, Milton Keynes, and Leeds. Unilever will be working in partnership with the Co-op to test refills amongst customers, in addition to customers at larger Asda supermarkets, and will be announcing plans for more stores and trials later in the year.
The company will be testing ‘return on the go’ refillable products. Customers looking for a faster ‘grab and go’ purchase can pick up a pre-filled stainless-steel bottle from shelf and return it in-store once used, where they are collected to be cleaned and re-filled.
The pre-fill bottles will be available in-aisle, testing if integrating refillable products into usual shopping habits will increase uptake.
The company is also creating paper-based bottles in another attempt to cut down on its waste.
“To tackle plastic waste, we need to completely rethink how we design and package products,” says Richard Slater, Unilever’s Chief R&D Officer.