The idea behind Loop is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to use the same products they already buy, but produce drastically less waste doing so. In addition to the change in consumer behavior, the operational and cultural shift required of Loop's corporate partners is perhaps more significant.
At the press conference, TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky remarked at how rare it is to have executives from rivals Unilever and Nestle sharing the stage. Executives described Loop's e-commerce site as a grand experiment, and the vendors involved will need to share learnings as the pilot progresses.
"The key thing here in the pilot is to really understand how sustainable is it? I think we’re really trying to test and learn the customer reactions and certainly the reason at Walgreens we wanted to get involved as well is that, quite honestly, customers are demanding this from us," said Lauren Brindley, group vice president for beauty and personal care for Walgreens, whose website now features a bar at the top directing shoppers to the Loop site.
The idea is for Walgreens and Kroger to eventually carry Loop products in store, but that possibility is not a sure thing and far in the distance as customers just begin to test the program and vendors get a sense of the operational burden.