This World Refill Day, Unilever has expanded the trial of its refillable beauty product scheme to seven supermarkets across the UK.
The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate first announced its sustainable packaging partnership with grocery chain Asda via its Leeds branch in October 2020.
With consumers increasingly demanding eco-friendly options and initiatives, the owner of REN, Hourglass and Paula's Choice said it aims to evaluate shopper habits and experiment with different models to promote long-term use of the refillable plastic-free products.
"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," said Sebastian Munden, Unilever UK & Ireland General Manager and Executive Vice-President.
Consumers can now refill their Radox shower gel, Simple liquid hand wash and Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner at seven Asda locations in Middleton, Rugby, Toryglen in Glasgow, York and Milton Keynes, as well as at Co-op convenience stores in Huddersfield and York.
For the first time, the multinational is also trialling a 'return on the go' scheme for time-poor consumers that can pick up a pre-filled stainless-steel bottle from the shelf and return it in-store once used, where they are collected to be cleaned and refilled.
Unilever has teamed up with Jo-Anne Chidley, owner of the Beauty Kitchen and co-founder of Return Refill Repeat, on the in-store technology.
Chidley added: "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.”