Lidl to trial smart laundry detergent refill station in the UK in partnership with Chilean startup Algramo; consumers can purchase a refill bottle, which has been specially designed with a smart chip that allows the machine to register, recognize it

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May 5, 2022 (press release) –

Lidl has announced the trial of the UK’s first supermarket ‘smart’ laundry detergent refill station, in partnership with Chilean sustainability start-up Algramo. Launching in Kingswinford, West Midlands, the six month pilot could save 2,970 single-use plastic containers from one store alone.

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As of Thursday 28th April, shoppers at the Kingswinford store are able to purchase a dedicated, 100 per cent recyclable refill bottle filled with a choice of four Lidl own brand laundry detergents for the same price as a standard single-use bottle. After the refill bottle is purchased, any refills then come with a 20p saving – reducing customer spend as well as plastic, meaning customers will never pay more for a more sustainable choice.

The refill bottles have been specially designed with a UK-first smart chip, which allows the machine to register and recognise the bottle. Once the refill process is complete, shoppers can collect the ticket printed with the chosen product’s barcode and pay at the till with the weekly shop.

The innovative refill machines are fully automated – making the process simple and fast, also helping to avoid any awkward spills created by manual refill machines.

The refill machine will support four laundry detergents from Lidl’s Formil range:

  • Formil Super Concentrated Bio, £1.69 (£1.49 for every refill)
  • Formil Super Concentrated Non-Bio, £1.69 (£1.49 for every refill)
  • Formil Super Concentrated Tropical Lily, £1.89 (£1.69 for every refill)
  • Formil Super Concentrated Honey Petals, £1.89 (£1.69 for every refill)

The trial builds on Lidl’s commitment to combatting plastic waste, which has already seen the removal of 1 billion pieces of plastic from stores, as well as the commitment to reduce its use of plastic packaging by 40 per cent by 2025.

Mark Newbold, CSR Manager at Lidl GB said: “At Lidl, we believe you shouldn’t have to pay more for doing the right thing. It’s why we’re especially proud to be trialling this pioneering refill technology that not only helps customers reduce their plastic usage, but also their weekly shopping bill.”

Since 2013, Algramo has been dedicated to helping Chilean families buy life’s essentials in reusable packaging and is now an international benchmark for circular economy.  With this partnership, Lidl becomes the first retailer to pilot Algramo’s circular platform in Europe, while also allowing its customers to pay, on average, 10 per cent less for the products.

This trial is just the first step of this partnership, with plans later in the year to trial alternative innovative designs to bring further improved customer experience and potential savings.

Chris Baker, Country Manager at Algramo UK said: “We are very happy to help Lidl customers make simple everyday actions more sustainable. During 2021, just in Chile, we managed to reuse more than 250,000 plastic bottles, that are still being used by consumers, keeping more than 30 tons of plastic in the economy and out of the environment.”

 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About Lidl GB

Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 27,500 employees, over 910 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.

As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. The supermarket, which has more than 341,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 11,550 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 31 countries.

The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.

The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €125.3 billion in the financial year 2020.

For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/

About Algramo

Algramo is a Chilean startup born in 2013 that began working along family-owned neighbourhood stores, distributing everyday products in vending machines and reusable packaging. This system allowed people to purchase products ‘by the gram’- the literal translation of Algramo. Doing this, enables low-resource families to buy in small quantities and pay about 40% less for life’s essentials.

Algramo has become a real-world example of a viable circular economy business model with global potential. It was recognized by Fast Company in 2015 and 2020 as the Most Innovative Company in Latin America. In 2019, Algramo won first place in the National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge and MIT Solves Circular Economy cohort. In 2021, Algramo won a spot in The Circulars Accelerator Program, an initiative of Accenture, in alliance with Ecolab and in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

Algramo has presence in Chile, USA, Indonesia and now in the UK, and is currently working with global brands like Unilever, Nestlé, Walmart, Colgate and Lidl to create smart inclusive distribution systems that meet their global supply chain and quality assurance standards. This creates a highly scalable circular distribution system that enables consumers to buy just the product and not the packaging waste.

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