Asda launches brand new type of supermarket that changes the way customers shop for food

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Asda has opened its first sustainability food store to help reduce waste. The supermarket giant has partnered with some of the UK’s most popular household brands including PG Tips, Kellogg’s, Radox and Persil to help customers shop plastic-free in the trial shop. If successful, the sustainability store could roll out to more locations across the UK next year.

The store is designed to help shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle with ease and Asda estimates the numerous initiatives being trailed in the Middleton store will save one million pieces of plastic per year.

This way of shopping can usually come with a hefty price tag but the supermarket giant ensures that customers will not pay more for eco-friendly alternatives.

The ‘Greener at Asda Price’ promises that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than the wrapped equivalents. 

The new store will include 15 huge refill stations where customers can take reusable containers and choose from a selection of household staples.

Products include a selection of cereals, tea bags, coffee, cordial as well as rice and pasta.

The refill zone will include popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent as well as hand wash and shower gel – all from Unilever brands like Simple and Radox.

Fresh produce is also sold loose and unwrapped and will include 29 foods like cauliflower, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes.

Plants and flowers will also be sold unwrapped or with a more eco-friendly wrapper like paper.

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Customers can also pick up beans and canned goods including beans and soups with the outer plastic wrapping removed. 

There will also be a few recycling stations where customers can take their crisp and biscuit packets as well as cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes. 

Its popular clothing range, George, will also be sold in the sustainable store but items will be made from recycled polyester, showcasing their new sustainable fashion line.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s CEO and President said: “Today marks an important milestone in our journey as we tackle plastic pollution and help our customers to reduce, re-use and recycle. We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with more than twenty of our partners and suppliers, who have answered the call to test innovative sustainable solutions with us.

“This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80% believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce the amount of single use plastics in stores. We want to give them the opportunity to live more sustainably by offering them great product choices and value, underpinned by a promise that they won’t pay more for greener options at Asda.

“During the next few months we will listen to customers and colleagues’ feedback on Middleton so we can understand how we can continue to reduce our environmental impacts, whilst continuing to deliver quality service at a great price.”

Posting the news on its Facebook page, the post has now been liked more than 26,000 times with over 8,000 comments.

Shoppers were quick to comment on the news, with thousands loving the initiative.

One person said: “This is great! More shops should do it. There used to be a bag and save in Leeds which was fabulous for dry goods. It’s exactly what we need. Well done.”

Another commented: “Wow fab idea, well done, hope you expand it. I hate the amount of packaging I throw away every shopping day.”

“Excellent idea. Hope it’s rolled out across other stores. Guessing it won’t be available for online purchases,” said a third. 

Nina Schrank, lead plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Asda’s new sustainability store reflects what people are looking for – the opportunity to go plastic-free. By offering innovative refill stations, loose fruit and vegetables and plenty of sustainably sourced household goods, they have bought what used to be a niche shopping experience into the mainstream, all under one roof.

“We hope that this store is the first of many; we need to see so much more of this from across the supermarket sector. UK consumers want to ditch plastic. The supermarket sector needs to listen to its customers and shift to plastic-free groceries and reuse and refill options both in-store and throughout their online delivery operations.”

When visiting an Asda store, safety measures have been implemented to help protect customers and staff from the coronavirus. 

Asda said: “To help reduce contact in our stores we’ve also rolled out ‘Scan and Go’ mobile to all of our supermarkets, superstores and super centres.

“Customers can use their own device to scan their shopping and pack as they go.”

This will help customers shop more quickly for groceries, meaning the queues outside should be shorter.

Customers should also adhere to Government guidelines and wear a face covering when visiting any supermarket.

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