Leeds Asda Will Be The UK’s First “Sustainability Store” With Reverse Vending Machines And Refill Stations

2020 is the year of sustainability, with Leeds leading the way with all sorts of projects in the works to become a greener city. And now, Asda has chosen one of the city’s stores to become its first “sustainability” store.

Kicking off in May, Asda’s Middleton superstore will become the first in the country of its kind, with a three-month trial taking place to see how customers respond to the new approach. Depending on the results, the project will then be rolled out nationwide.

The store will replace plastic with a number of refill stations, where customers will be able to stock up on dried goods such as pasta, cereals, tea and coffee and then weigh it and price it up. Customers will be able to bring their own re-usable containers to the store and fill up to their heart’s content. Fruit and veg will also be sold “naked”, with plastic being eradicated from packaging.

The concept aims to reduce plastic waste, and help customers become more environmentally friendly – with a company aim to reduce plastic use by 15% this year. The store will also feature ‘reverse’ vending machines where customers can bring plastic bottles and cans for recycling.

Speaking of the project, chief exec Roger Burnley has said:

“We’re on an ongoing quest to remove and reduce the amount of plastic in our business – and to find new ways to help our customers to reuse and refill our products.

“It’s a journey we can’t go on alone, which is why we invited our suppliers to innovate with us and I’m delighted that household names like Kellogg’s and Unilever have joined us in testing new ideas and approaches to sustainability at our Middleton store.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impacts whilst still maintaining the great service and quality our customers demand.

“Our first priority will be to look at how we can reduce and remove plastic and I am excited to learn from our customers and see where this journey will take us.”