Unilever expand refillable packaging trials


Unilever has announced it is expanding its refillable packaging trials to across the UK.

This will include the first ‘return on the go’ refill trial in selected Asda and Co-op supermarkets.

The trials will test different refill models, different store formats and in-store locations as well as testing the different shopper experiences that could enable long-term use of refillable products.

The company will be testing ‘return on the go’ refillable products. Customers looking for a faster ‘grab and go’ purchase can pick up a pre-filled stainless-steel bottle from shelf and return it in-store once used, where they are collected to be cleaned and re-filled.

The pre-fill bottles will be available in-aisle, testing if integrating refillable products into usual shopping habits will increase uptake.

On the expansion of Unilever’s refill trials, Sebastian Munden, Unilever UK & Ireland General Manager and Executive Vice-President, said: “To tackle plastic pollution with the speed and urgency needed, we are committed to creating scalable solutions which make it as easy as possible for people to make sustainable choices. 

“We believe refills could be a gamechanger in our ambitions to halve our use of virgin plastic by 2025, however unlocking the full potential of the reuse economy would require a significant shift in how people shop. 

“Using our well-known and trusted brands and working closely with retailers, we are testing different refill models on a large scale in order to continue to build our understanding of how to bring about a significant change most effectively.”

Jo-Anne Chidley, Co-Founder of Return•Refill•Repeat explains: “Our goal is to democratise the circular economy, using Cradle to Cradle design, to work with businesses like Unilever to give consumers access to more sustainable products.

“By designing packaging to be circular and smart alongside advanced Refill and Return Stations, we are making it accessible for consumers to reduce their plastic consumption, track their impact, and change their behaviour from one of consuming packaging to reusing it.”

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