Asda to launch zero waste refill zone in Milton Keynes store and here's how it will look

Customers can fill reusable containers with everything from pasta to pet food

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 12:55 am

Asda is rolling out a special refill station at its Bletchley store by the end of the year to help customers reduce, reuse or recycle their supermarket packaging.

The supermarket will be trialing new refill bays, partnering with more household brands and engaging with customers to understand how best to encourage refill participation amongst as many shoppers as possible.

The refill goods will include some of the UKs most popular household brands such as Yorkshire Tea, Kellogg’s cereals, new own-label and Nestle cereals, Napolina pasta and Tilda rice. There will also be snacking, desserts and baking products in the special nine bay standalone refill fixture.


Refillable dried pet food as well as laundry and toiletry products will be available within specific aisles.

The store will also offer Persil, Radox, Simple and Alberto Balsam products from Unilever in stainless steel reusable bottles. These will be tested in two refill formats - refill on the go where shoppers can refill their bottle using a machine in-store, or 'return on the go' where shoppers can pick up pre-filled bottles off the shelf and return them in-store once used.

Asda boses say the facility will be in place in December this year.

Susan Thomas, Asda's director of commercial sustainability said: “We know that reducing packaging waste matters to our customers and they have embraced the refill options available at the Middleton store, with many of the products available already exceeding expectations.

The refill station at Asda's Greater Manchester store

“Our ultimate goal is to make refill and reuse a part of every Asda shopping trip and to achieve this we have to make it easy, accessible and affordable for all our customers to shop this way.

The rollout follows the successful launch of refill zone in Asda at Middleton, Greater Manchester, last October, with several products outstripping packaged sales and many customers travelling from outside the local area to shop sustainably.

Pre-Loved, which was also initially trialled in Middleton is now in over 50 stores across the country, while the supermarket is also evaluating plans to roll-out increased customer recycling facilities to more stores later this year.

The announcement follows the publication of Asda’s first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report last month, which sets out its commitments to implementing a sustainable business strategy and outlines how the supermarket will make it easier and more affordable for customers to shop sustainably. It also reaffirmed its ‘Greener at Asda’ price promise – a commitment that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than packaged equivalents.

There will be everything from pasta to dried pet food

Sebastian Munden, Unilever UK and Ireland’s executive vice president and general manager said: “Asda share our ambition and urgency to tackle plastic pollution, so it’s great to scale up our partnership with them and continue to test different refill models in their stores. Including our first ever trial of reusable stainless steel bottles which are available pre-filled on shelf and then dropped off in-store once used. By testing and learning what works best in-store, we can understand how to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to make sustainable choices, whilst still using the brands they know and love.”

Jo Morley, head of campaigns at City to Sea, the organisation behind World Refill Day, said: ”We know that the public are more concerned about plastic pollution than ever before, and looking for ways to live with less waste, so we welcome the news that Asda are going to be expanding their refill offering with the launch of four new refill stores. This World Refill Day, we’re encouraging people to make changes to their everyday shopping and find out what they can refill near them, and its brilliant to see Asda leading the way, making refill and reuse more accessible and more affordable.