UPS and TerraCycle have unveiled a new reusable and returnable system for managing consumer product packaging. The system, known as Loop, will be tested in Paris and New York prior to full implementation in consumer markets.
The Loop system eliminates the reliance on single-use packaging for consumer goods, allowing consumers to be offered a variety of products in customized, brand-specific, durable packaging that is directly delivered to customers, and is then collected, cleaned, refilled and redelivered.
"Loop will not just eliminate the idea of packaging waste, but greatly improve the product experience and shopping convenience," says TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky.
Loop products will be delivered and picked up vai a system designed by TerraCycle and UPS, representing the latest advances in TerraCycle's long standing partnership with UPS.
The companies collaborated to design outer packaging that can handle liquids, dry goods and personal care products, with protective dividers inside, using materials that offer easy cleaning for reuse. The UPS Package Design and Test Lab helped to custom design and test packaging to be appealing to consumers, yet durable enough to be used time and again. During the design and testing process, UPS identified solutions to mitigate the following: materials breakdowns, product leaks, exterior packaging design that showed signs of fatigue after limited use and scratches on metal containers caused by metal closures.
UPS Lab mad recommendations to TerraCycle to improve the packaging by adding multi-threaded closures for product containers, a modified capping approach to reduce the risk of leaking products and custom dividers within the Loop tote to better hold products in place during transit.
"UPS helped TerraCycle to design the exterior and interior of the Loop tote container in ways we could never have done," says TerraCycle chief design junkie, Tiffany Threadgould. "Expert UPS testing also helped us to provide feedback to Loop consumer packaged goods partners regarding the primary packaging of products within the tote."
The pilot tests planned for Paris and New York this year will help refine the process, with additional feedback from consumer experience data.