The new refillable trial aims to eliminate the use of single-use packaging from a selection of pantry items


Abel & Cole will provide Club Zero members with staple pantry items in fully reusable, returnable pots. (Credit: Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay)

UK-based organic food delivery company Abel & Cole is set to launch a refill delivery service, named Club Zero, as part of its commitment to the circular economy.

The new refillable trial, claims to be first-of-its-kind, aims to eliminate the use of single-use packaging from a selection of pantry items and replace them with returnable, reusable pots.

Abel & Cole teamed up with Unpackaged to develop Club Zero trial

Abel & Cole has partnered with specialist zero waste consultants Unpackaged to develop the Club Zero trial, which is planned to be launched by the end of February 2020.

The firm said that the Club Zero trial makes it the first UK-based online retailer to offer a refillable service.

Abel & Cole managing director Hannah Shipton said: “People have become increasingly aware of climate change and we have witnessed a huge growth in the appetite for sustainable products and ways to shop.

“I hope Club Zero helps anyone looking to cut down on single-use packaging, particularly those without the ability to get to a zero-waste refill shop or those not wanting to jump in the car to get to one (undoing their intention!).”

The firm said it has been using environmentally responsible, reusable cardboard boxes to deliver organic, wild and foraged products to its customers, and as a result, saved approximately 55 million single-use plastic bags from landfills.

The Abel & Cole’s Club Zero members will be provided with staple pantry items in fully reusable, returnable pots, named Very Important Pots (‘VIPs’).

The ‘VIPs’, however, will be reused again once they are collected from the customers within a week.

Unpackaged founder Catherine Conway said: “Abel & Cole are taking a bold step in helping their customers drastically reduce packaging, which is the kind of leadership we need to see from business to help us out of the global plastic packaging crisis we face.”

In 2016, Abel & Cole has selected new transparent compostable packaging, which is developed by Finland’s Plastiroll, for its vegetables.

The new easily processable biodegradable packaging film, named Bioska 506, is designed to improve the shelf life of fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables.