Lidl trialling mess-free smart refills for laundry detergent to reduce plastic waste and save customers cash

Budget supermarket Lidl is trialling an ‘on-shelf’ laundry detergent option to reduce plastic waste and save shoppers money - here’s where you can give it a go.

A state-of-art machine is offering shoppers the chance to save cash and the planet as Lidl trial a mess-free smart refill machine.

Designed by Chilean sustainability start-up Algramo, the equipment will be located on-shelf in the store’s laundry detergent section, taking up the space equivalent to 66 standard Formil single-use bottles but with the potential to fill more than 245 individual pouches.

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The machine’s automated, touchscreen experience, means customers can pick up the pouch, choose their favourite detergent and follow the simple on-screen instructions. And thanks to the innovative ‘closed-fill’ technology incorporated into the pouch cap, customers can fill with the cap on for faster filling and eliminating the chance of mess and spills.

The Formil detergent pouches contain a special chip allowing the machine to distinguish between new and reused refill pouches, so the customer gets a discounted price after their first use. The technology will also help Lidl and Algramo to understand how many times each pouch is refilled and therefore how much packaging has been saved through the trial.

Lidl’s smart refill machines will be located on-shelf in the store’s laundry detergent section

How much will Lidl laundry detergent refills save you?

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Refills offer customers the cheapest wash, saving 20p per refill when compared to the equivalent single use product.

But it’s not just about saving cash but saving the planet too as using Lidl’s ‘smart’ refill pouches saves 59g of plastic per refill, the weight of an equivalent single use bottle, and minimises CO2 and water usage. The detergent being transported in bulk packaging makes logistics more efficient too.

Mark Newbold, CSR Manager at Lidl GB said: “We are incredibly proud of this latest innovation, which will enable our customers to save money and reduce their plastic consumption. We were the first UK supermarket to introduce smart laundry detergent refill stations and now we’re the first to introduce this next generation design.

“It’s our strong belief that good quality and value should go together. We are committed to providing our customers with cost saving solutions that can help their wallets and the planet.”

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Lidl is trialling the mess-free smart refills for laundry detergent to reduce plastic waste and help customer save money on their shopping

Where will Lidl trial laundry detergent smart refill

The trial will feature in Lidl’s Swadlincote, Lichfield and Kingswinford stores building on an initial six-month pilot of a larger, standing refill machine at the Kingswinford store, which resulted in extremely positive customer feedback. Of those who made use of the trial machine, 97 per cent said they would recommend it to a friend or colleague, and 88 per cent plan to use it again soon.

Chris Baker, Country Manager at Algramo UK said: “At Algramo we are committed to lowering the cost of products by selling in bulk and, on the other hand, reducing the amount of single-use plastic that is discarded, decreasing the environmental impact. This launch represents an important evolution of our refill offering and there is still more to come as we explore new ways to further optimise refill both for the consumer and retail staff alike.”

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How to use Lidl’s laundry detergent smart refill machine

The smart machine will automatically recognise your Formil refill pouch

Lidl customers can follow these simple steps to refill, save money and help the environment:

Pick up your refill pouch in store - keep the cap on.

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Select which Formil laundry detergent product you want to refill.

Slide your refill pouch into the refill machine until it clicks. The machine will automatically recognise your Formil refill pouch. Please note,  you cannot use your own bottle or pouch.

Once the refill process is complete, simply collect the ticket printed with the barcode for your product.

Your first time you will pay for your refill pouch and laundry detergent at the till with your ticket.

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Next time, bring back your empty pouch to refill and continue saving.