The Loop Alliance, launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos, plans to introduce zero-waste packaging to help end plastic pollution.

The impact

LoopTM encourages manufacturers to develop durable packaging that can be reused at least 100 times

The World Economic Forum has played a crucial role in connecting TerraCycle, a global waste management and recycling company, with logistics giant UPS and some of the world’s leading retailers and consumer goods companies (including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Carrefour, Tesco, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars, Nestlé and Unilever) to develop and pilot a revolutionary zero-waste e-commerce system called LoopTM.

LoopTM aims to promote responsible consumption and eliminate waste by introducing a new way for consumers to purchase, enjoy and recycle their favourite products. Instead of relying on single-use packaging, it delivers products to consumers’ doorsteps in durable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and reused, sometimes more than 100 times.

In addition to bringing together key players, the Forum’s platform has helped elevate and accelerate the LoopTM model. The Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos generated $4.8 million-worth of media coverage and more than 35,000 social media mentions for the Loop Alliance, which was officially announced at the meeting.

The Forum is now helping the Loop Alliance bring the LoopTM model to cities around the world.

What’s the challenge?

More than 90% of plastic is never recycled

More than 90% of plastic is never recycled, and a whopping 8 million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped into the oceans annually. At this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050.

With waste management systems failing the environment, the time is ripe for a new and more holistic approach. Addressing plastic pollution requires not only improving recycling processes and creating more sustainable materials, but also exploring new models of consumption that will redefine the way we produce, distribute and consume.

Our approach

LoopTM is an example of such a model, with the potential to disrupt consumption as we know it.

Tom Szaky, the Chief Executive Officer of TerraCycle, had an idea based on the ‘milkman model’, but he needed buy-in from key companies. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 provided him with the perfect opportunity. During the course of several days, Szaky was able to pitch his idea to chief executive officers of leading consumer product companies, and by the end of the meeting, they agreed to consider partnering with him on his initiative. Two years later, at the Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos, the Loop Alliance was born.

The LoopTM model is simple. First, the consumer orders products on Loop’s websites or on one of its partner retailer websites. Then a courier delivers the items inside a specially designed LoopTM tote to the consumer’s home. Since the items are packaged in waste-free, durable containers, used products are placed back into the LoopTM tote and left outside for the courier to collect. The containers are then sanitized and refilled before the process begins again.

The Loop model

The Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Consumption is helping to create a multistakeholder group of civil society and public-sector representatives as well as independent experts who can guide the development of the LoopTM model to improve sustainability and social inclusion.

In addition, our Platform has been working closely with the Loop Alliance to pilot the Loop model around the world. Pilots were launched in Paris and New York in May 2019 and are scheduled for London, Toronto and Tokyo in 2020.

How can you get involved?

The Forum invites partners and members to help shape the future of consumption.

Do you want to team up with other socially minded companies, NGOs and leading experts to fight plastic pollution and rethink the way we shop, consume and recycle?

Find out how you can join the Forum as a partner or member company, or, if you’re already an existing partner or member, contact us to learn how you can become involved in this or other game-changing initiatives that aim to promote responsible consumption.