Once again, Asda has taken the lead in the Big Four’s battle for green initiatives with a new sustainable store, without penalising its core of loyal shoppers.
Mark the date: October 21, 2020 is the day that Asda opened its first sustainable store, in Middleton, Leeds. Partnering with a number of popular household brands — including Kellogg’s, PG Tips, Persil and more — it has been designed to make a significant impact on the amount of packaging plastics being passed to consumers as part of their regular shopping.
Touted as a huge step forward in making recycling easier for everybody, Asda estimates that the Middleton store alone will result in one million pieces of plastic being saved annually. It is also vital for understanding the habits and preferences of shoppers, as the trial store has been designed to cultivate information that can be utilised for a larger-scale rollout of the sustainability model in 2021. The most popular features will be included as standard and those that fail to attract will be subject to redesign or reconsideration.
In a bid to attract cost-conscious consumers, Asda is simultaneously launching its Greener at Asda Price, which promises that loose and plastic-free items will cost no more than their standard wrapped counterparts.
The new sustainable Middleton store offers the following:
- Large refill stations stocked with everyday basics that can be dispensed into reusable containers. Cereals, coffee, cordial and cupboard essentials such as pasta and rice are all easy to find.
- Brand names and Asda’s own-brand supplies are on offer, side by side. In a first for UK supermarkets, Persil washing powder and Radox shower gels are available in a refillable format, amongst other widely recognised names.
- Fresh produce will see a significant reduction in plastic packaging, with 53 varieties being stocked, totally wrapping-free. Flowers and plants can also be taken as they are, or wrapped in sustainable packaging alternatives.
- Plastic multipack wrapping has been removed for a number of very popular lines, including Asda and Heinz canned goods.
- Recycling facilities are being given the spotlight, with in-store options for hard-to-repurpose packaging — such as crisp packets — and reverse vending machines. Cans, glass and plastic drinks containers can be fed into the machine for easy recycling, while a clothes hanger deposit scheme is also set to be rolled out to all stores in the near future.
George at Asda is also being given a sustainable fashion makeover, with items made from recycled polyester going on sale and denim returning to a hangerless display method.
Asda has revealed that while sustainability is a key focus, so is retaining its loyal customers.
Green initiatives notoriously carry higher price tags, but Asda has made a deliberate move to negate this reductive trend, focusing instead on inclusive ideas that support both consumers and the planet. Determined to reach its target of zero carbon emissions by 2040, alongside waste reduction of 50%, the company is moving, with purpose, in the right direction.
Speaking exclusively to The Vegan Review, Asda’s senior press officer noted: “What makes Middleton unique is that we’ve partnered with some of Britain’s most popular brands to deliver the huge 15-bay refill station, which has more than 30 household staples.”
She added: “Customers can purchase a variety of products from brands such as Vimto, Soda Stream, PG Tips, Kellogg’s and Lavazza, which means they can make greener choices whilst still being able to purchase their favourite products at great prices.”