Reusable packaging launched by AEON
AEON encourage Japanese consumers to limit the usage of single-use plastics by launching reusable packaging in 19 of its stores. Instead of patronising food products that are in one-time use packs leading to unnecessary waste, these products come in new sustainable packaging such as stainless steel and glass. These can be used multiple times due to the durability of the packaging material.
The project has now been launched covering 13 products by six manufacturers in Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture and Chiba districts, with plans to add more products by the end of August 2021. This initiative to launch refillable packaging in AEON’s stores is made possible through its partnership with Loop, a company founded by U.S. based recycling company Terracycle, informs IGD Asia.
The system works very simply:
Shoppers first purchase these Loop products in reusable packaging. They are generally priced slightly higher than products with disposable packaging, but customers can get a refund later once they return the reusable packs.
After they have finished using the product, they can drop the used container in the Loop return box at any AEON store in Japan.
Once the system collects the container and authenticates it, customers will receive a refund of their deposit and the consumption tax of the container. The refund is processed within two weeks. It will be credited to the customers’ bank account through the Loop app and can range anywhere between JP¥110 (US$1.01) and JP¥880 (US$8.08), depending on the container.
A specialised company will then clean the returned pack, and send them back to the manufacturers who will re-use these containers.
The supermarket chain has also partnered with Hong Kong-based environmental charity Greeners Action to give customers coupons and discounts if they bring their own reusable containers and avoid the use of single-use plastic items when they order from in-store food outlets. The NGO has recently called the disposable trend in Hong Kong a “plastic disaster” after learning that Hong Kongers use 100 million disposable plastic takeaway items.
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