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18 December 2020
A week ago, TerraCycle announced they'd raised USD 25 million for their global reuse platform Loop, which partners with companies like Unilever, P&G and Tupperware to provide consumers with a 'milkman' model of deposit and return packaging. Loop is currently available in the US, the UK and France, and will be expanding to Canada, Japan and Australia next year.
Clearly a mammoth operation. Over in Amsterdam, we spotted a tiny start-up doing the same thing on a much smaller scale. Like a mini version of Loop, This is Circular is a sustainable delivery service for personal care and household cleaning products in reusable metal bottles. Customers order online and TIC delivers by cargo e-bike. Once the bottles are empty, they can be returned for a refill. TIC aims to offer products at regular retail prices, so customers don't pay extra for their effort to reduce plastic waste. In addition to its own line, TIC currently stocks personal care, beauty and cleaning products by three natural (and independent) brands: Sonnet, Faith in Nature and Beauty Kitchen.
The reuse revolution was initiated by small, idealistic entrepreneurs. While Loop can create a difference on a massive scale and potentially make reusables commonplace, that doesn't mean there isn't room for more modestly sized companies like TIC, serving (hyper) local audiences with their own curated selection of products.