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Tesco's Loop Scheme: An Honest Review

I was delighted to hear about Tesco’s ‘Loop’ scheme.

It initially felt like a great way to reduce not just plastic waste but to recycle glass and tin, so a great and convenient step towards a zero waste world.

The scheme is very simple- you order anything you like from Tesco’s ‘Loop’ website, paying an extra pound or so deposit on the containers for each item. When you have used the contents, you put the containers into a ‘Loop Tote’ and book a free collection, so the containers are taken back and reused and your deposit gets returned. So far so good until I tried to place an order...

I was startled when I saw my trolley appeared to be costing many times more than expected.

Some of this was due to the refundable deposit, but a closer look at prices revealed that Tesco are charging up to ten times as much for what appears to be a very similar product on the ‘loop’ scheme.

Why is a 190g jar of hot English mustard £4.10 on loop (plus deposit) and 50p on Tesco? Caesar dressing- £4.50 on Loop, and 85p on Tesco? Why does Macaroni cost 54p per 100g on ‘loop’ and 11p per 100g in a plastic bag?

OK some of the extra charge might be for picking up and washing the containers, but Tesco is not having to provide a new container for each item, and could easily provide drop off points, so there should be a reduction in price to the customers who take the time to return packaging, not a penalty!

It’s a wonderful step towards the circular economy, and should be the way that all supermarkets are going, however we feel that Tesco should be incentivising people to reduce waste, not profiting from them wanting to do the right thing.

We have written to Tesco and will let you know their response!


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