Inside Asda’s eco store – with Persil, tea bags, pasta and Coco Pops by chute
Anyone would think a celeb was in town as an excited mum snapped dozens of pics to send to her daughter.
The 17-year-old immediately messaged back a heart emoji and declared “I’m a fan!”.
But it wasn’t the latest pop sensation that was getting all the attention but Asda’s green superstore in Middleton, Leeds.
The refitted ‘sustainable’ Asda shows the chain’s commitment to getting rid of plastic.
Customers can now use one of the 15 huge refill stations to fill containers with Asda own brand rice and pasta, Vimto, Kellogg’s cereals and PG Tips tea bags or loose tea.
There are also three giant machines, “the first in the world”, dispensing Radox, Persil and Simple.
Sustainable fashion lines are being promoted through George including outfits made out of recycled polyester alongside a pop up vintage store.
Duvets made out of recycled polyester from 65 old bottles are displayed in plastic bags, baked bean tins have been ‘unwrapped’ and flowers sold ‘naked’ without plastic.
Asda believes it will save a million pieces of plastic a year.
And if the three month trial is a hit, they will roll it out to more of its 646 superstores.
“I think it’s fantastic,”mum Christine Elliott from Leeds said of the eco refit, impressed with a community table made out of yoghurt pots.
“We’ve raised both our girls, aged 19 and 17, to recycle and this is just up their street,” she explained as she sent pictures to her youngest Eloise.
But the biggest hit in store yesterday appeared to be the giant refill section.
Philip Norton, 71 from Thorpe was thrilled he was allowed to count out his own teabags.
“It’s a new world! I want 10, no 15, individual tea bags. So I can just fill a bag up and then go and pay for them?” the pensioner asked.
He was told you can either buy a container or bring your own which is then weighed before you’re free to fill it up from the dispensers above.
Although I ended up causing Coco Pops chaos when I tried. They had to get the handheld hoover out after I failed to watch what I was doing!
Others meanwhile had much more success and the assistant spared my blushes by claiming they were still ‘playing around with the speed’ the items are released down the shoot.
Danielle Speight, 28, from Middleton said: “We’ve got boxes of cereals everywhere at home, so this will really help.
“I hate shopping but this is 100 per cent better. I can imagine my six year old will enjoy interacting and filling up the containers.
“My little boy teaches me about waste. So this will really help us. “
Keen recyclers Steven Gill, 69, a former HGV driver and his wife Jacquie Gill, 70, a retired school cook, were also pleased it gives them control over their portions.
“I love Cornflakes but my husband doesn’t, so it takes me ages to get through a big box and I hate the dusty bits at the end,” Jacquie said.
“This way we can come and get the size we like.
“ I think it’s such a good idea, the only thing is if it catches on and we end up with big queues.“
Asda boss Suzie Hardy, said: “A lot of the customers are buzzing about it.
“We had one grandma who only wanted a few Coco Pops for when she sees her grandchildren. One lad wanted to pose by the Vimto machine to put on his school’s instagram.
“That’s been the biggest seller so far, the Coco Pops.
“ And the kids are doing wonders for sales,” she joked. “With them filling the containers and the mum’s saying ‘that’s it stop!’.”
Stuart Chidley, the cofounder of Beauty Kitchen, was unveiling the first three “return/refill/repeat machines in the world” using Persil, Simple and Radox.
The container, with its own barcode which is unique to each shopper, can keep track of how much you have used and how much plastic and carbon you’ve saved.
“The response has been amazing. It’s exceeded the first week sales target in three hours,” he said.
“It creates an emotional engagement with the bottle.”
UK supermarkets are responsible for 58 billion pieces of plastic a year,
according to Greenpeace.
Asda uses about 65,000 tonnes of plastic a year.
To encourage their customers to shop sustainably, the supermarket said it has launched a new price promise that means you won’t pay more for unwrapped products.
Asda recently committed to reducing plastic by 15% by February next year,
as well as making all of its own brand packaging fully recyclable by 2025.
Their research shows that two out of three of their customers are environmentally conscious and three in four said it was important their chosen supermarket cares too.
A massive 82 per cent of their customers told them they feel it is important to reduce the plastic in stores.