25 of the world’s biggest companies are investing in a new wave of consumer goods.  
Credit: Christopher Kimmel—Getty Images

Some of the world’s biggest manufacturers of grocery store staples such as packaged foods, beverages, and toiletries, are investing in ways to reduce waste for a more sustainable future. Companies like Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Nestle, and others are working to help reduce the 9.1 billion tons of plastic that’s been produced since the ‘50s and hasn’t gone away,  The Wall Street Journal reported.

“From a philosophical point of view, we have got to lean in and learn about this stuff,” said Simon Lowden, president of PepsiCo’s global snacks group, told the Journal. “People talk about recyclability and reuse and say they’d like to be involved in helping the environment, so let’s see if it’s true.”

This summer, 25 companies will be rolling out hundreds of popular products in new metal or glass containers, which can be returned or reused again as part of a trial run. PepsiCo, for example, will be selling Tropicana orange juice in glass bottles with limited labeling and Quaker Chocolate Cruesli Cereal will be sold in stainless steel containers.  

While there are certainly critics who think customers will be too lazy to actually return or reuse containers, and the expense might not make up for profit, these companies have long-term sustainability goals and believe this will actually increase brand loyalty and draw more earth-conscious consumers.

“It’s really about a new delivery system and making sure once people are hooked into this they stay with the product,” P&G’s chief sustainability officer, Virginie Helias, told the Journal. Helias also said the company’s goal is to only utilize reusable or recyclable packaging for all of their products by 2030.

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Shoppers selected for these trials will be able to order from about 300 items in sustainable containers from Loop, a home delivery website, and can also sign up for a subscription-based service which replenishes empty containers with more product.

These products will have a similar price point to those found in supermarkets, but there will be an initial investment of $1-10 per reusable container at the beginning. Prices for shipping start around $20, but every item added to your cart will reduce the cost.

Companies say shifting the focus from recycling to reusing containers will be more effective in creating a sustainable future for our country. While there are still a lot of variables in play at this stage, this could be an easy way to help you eliminate waste in your own home.