UPS and TerraCycle partner on Loop

United Parcel Service (UPS), Atlanta, has joined TerraCycle, Trenton, New Jersey, to unveil a new reusable and returnable system for managing consumer product packaging. The system, called Loop, will be tested in Paris and New York as a first step toward full implementation in consumer markets, UPS says in a press release.

UPS says the Loop system breaks through the reliance on single-use packaging for consumer goods. Consumers will be offered a variety of products in customized, brand-specific durable packaging that is delivered directly to customers, 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.

Products will be delivered and picked up via a system designed by TerraCycle and UPS.

“Innovation is key to everything we do at UPS, and we are thrilled to support TerraCycle with packaging design for the Loop tote, as well as pickup and delivery services for Loop customers,” says UPS Chief Sales and Solutions Officer Kate Gutmann.

Loop customers will receive durable, reusable or fully recyclable packaging made from materials such as aluminum alloys, glass and plastics. Even the shipping container—a reusable tote—is part of the revamped design and will eliminate the need for single-use boxes.

UPS and TerraCycle collaborated to design the tote, with protective dividers inside. The tote is made with materials that offer easy cleaning for reuse.

During design and testing, UPS says it identified solutions to mitigate materials breakdown, product leaks, signs of fatigue after limited use and scratches on metal containers caused by metal closures.

UPS says Loop pilots planned for Paris and New York early this year will help refine the process.

To use Loop, customers must shop from or from Loop partner retailers’ websites.