By Kate Merrill

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — Home delivery services for groceries have been booming during the coronavirus pandemic. One of those companies has an added environmental benefit.

Loop is selling food and cleaning supplies in reusable metal containers that can be returned and shipped out again.

“Loop is the milkman re-imagined,” said company executive Anthony Rossi. “We are bringing that idea of the refillable milk bottle to thousands of different products.”

Liz Walker of Cambridge was motivated to cut back on the waste she created in her home. “The climate crisis is the most important issue. It’s so existential,” she said.

Reusable Loop containers (WBZ-TV)

Her concern comes as cities and towns have been struggling to keep up with recycling since China stopped accepting our single-stream recycled material. So she began ordering coffee, rice, and personal care items like shampoo from Loop.

When the containers are empty, she sends them back and they are cleaned, refilled and shipped out to another customer.

Many of the items on Loop’s grocery list are generic staples. But the company has also teamed up with some well-known national brands like Haagen Dasz.

“It’s in a special container that keeps it cool,” Walker said.

Price can be a downside for Walker, with a pound of pasta going for $5, but Loop expects prices to fall as the company grows. Walker is also concerned about the environmental impact of the deliveries but Loop is working on that, too.

Liz Walker orders from Loop (WBZ-TV)

“We are going to bring Loop in-store as well, which is why we are partnering with Kroger and Wallgreens,” Rossi said. The first items available in those retail stores are expected to be out on the west coast later this year. There is no timeline for retail stores in Massachusetts.

Walker hopes other companies will get the message that consumers are choosing their brands based on environmental impact.

“I think companies are listening. A lot of people are thinking about this problem now,” she said.

Kate Merrill

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