We're delighted to have opened our first sustainability trial store, at Asda Middleton in Leeds.
We've partnered with popular household brands including PG Tips, Vimto, Kellogg’s, Radox and Persil to install new equipment at the store so customers can bring their own containers to fill up on items such as tea, coffee, rice, pasta and washing powder.
We'll use the new-look store to test and learn which elements appeal most to customers and can be developed at scale to be potentially rolled out to more locations in 2021.
And to encourage customers to shop sustainably, we've also launched Greener at Asda Price, a national price promise that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than wrapped equivalents.
The new store has 15 huge refill stations offering customers a selection of more than 30 household staples sold in refillable format.
Products at the refill station 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, as well as popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, detergent, handwash and shower gel from brands such as Simple and Radox sold in refillable format – a retail first.
Around 50 fresh produce lines are now available loose and unwrapped, including 29 new lines such as cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes.
We've also removed the outer plastic wrapping on several popular Heinz and Asda brand canned multipacks, including beans and soups.
The store also now provides 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, as well as our first reverse vending machine for cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles and a hanger recycling facility that will be rolled out across all stores.
There's also sustainable fashion lines through George including clothing made from recycled polyester and coat hanger-less denim and 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.
And we've also partnered with Pre-Loved, a vintage wholesaler who will be selling bespoke vintage clothing from well-known brands.
In line with the opening of our new sustainable store, we've launched Greener At Asda Price – a new strategy for plastics and sustainability. It recognises that sustainable shopping must be affordable and accessible to all customers and commits customers won’t pay more for greener options. We're also committed to generating zero carbon emissions by 2040, reducing waste by 50% and having a net regenerative impact on nature no later than 2050.
Greener at Asda Price is a promise that means customers no longer have to choose between great value and living sustainably, as loose and unwrapped goods will never knowingly cost more than wrapped equivalents. As part of the programme, we've invited all our suppliers work with us on ideas to help reduce the planet impact of the range whilst also saving customers money.
Roger Burnley, Asda’s CEO and President, said: "Today marks an important milestone in our journey as we tackle plastic pollution and help our customers to reduce, re-use and recycle. We have always known that we couldn't do this alone and I’m delighted that our partners and suppliers have answered the call to bring new and innovative sustainable solutions into store.
"This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80% 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."
Christina Dixon, Senior Ocean Campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency, said: “Asda’s sustainability store shows real vision for a shopping experience that reduces plastic packaging and protects our planet, while also demonstrating that checking out on plastic doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. To beat plastic pollution we need bold system change and innovative approaches to re-use and refill, so we hope the lessons from this store can be scaled across the country and inspire sector-wide change to shift away from unnecessary and single-use plastics."
Nina Schrank, lead plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: "Asda’s new sustainability store reflects what people are looking for – the opportunity to go plastic free. By offering innovative refill stations, loose fruit and vegetables and plenty of sustainably sourced household goods, they have bought what used to be a niche shopping experience into the mainstream, all under one roof.
"We hope that this store is the first of many; we need to see so much more of this from across the supermarket sector. UK consumers want to ditch plastic. The supermarket sector needs to listen to its customers and shift to plastic free groceries and reuse and refill options both in-store and throughout their online delivery operations."