Lidl first supermarket to trial detergent refill machine to reduce plastic

Shoppers in the West Midlands will be able to get a discount on their laundry detergent while reducing plastic if they shop in Lidl.

The company is the first supermarket to trial a machine that allows people to bring their bottle back and fill it up.

Customers will pay 20p less than they would for a new bottle, and save 59g of extra plastic per use.

Lidl estimates the move could save 2,970 single-use plastic containers from one store alone.

The machine has been installed for an initial six months at the Kingswinford store near Dudley, and if it is a success could be rolled out further.

To use it, people will first need to buy a refillable bottle which has a chip inside that makes the machine work.

They can choose between four laundry detergents from the own-brand Formil range.

The plastic bottles initially cost £1.69 for concentrated detergent (bio and non-bio) and £1.89 for concentrated fragrance detergent (Tropical Lily and Honey Petals).

But when people come back to the touchscreen machine, the refills will be £1.49 or £1.69.

The bottles will be on sale next to the machine in the laundry detergent section on the aisle.

When people refill their bottle, the machine will print a ticket with a barcode and people will then take it with them to pay at the till.

The bottles are made from HDPE, which is a ‘durable plastic which will allow for the continued refill’ and is also recyclable if you no longer want it.

Lidl said: ‘Because we believe that good quality and value should go together, we are committed to providing our customers with cost saving solutions that can help their wallets and the planet!’

Last month, Lidl announced that it will be the first UK retailer to convert all its cotton staff uniforms to be Fairtrade.

The retailer committed to purchase 330,000 shirts, trousers, polo tops and chinos to be worn by the retailer’s 22,000 employees.

They said this equates to a volume of 175 tonnes of Fairtrade certified cotton, benefitting farmers in India.

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