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12/02/2020 – News / Packaging / Environment / Sustainability / Refillable / Abel & Cole / UK

Abel & Cole launches first-of-its-kind ‘refill delivery service’


Organic grocery business Abel & Cole has launched a cutting-edge refillables trial. This first-of-its-kind trial will remove single use packaging from a selection of pantry items and deliver them instead in returnable, reusable pots. This service, named Club Zero, makes Abel & Cole the first ever online retailer to offer a refillable service in the UK, as part of your normal weekly shop.

For over 30 years Abel & Cole has proudly sourced the best organic, wild and foraged products, delivering them in environmentally responsible, reusable cardboard boxes. It has saved approximately 55 million single use plastic bags from landfill and week on week it reduces single use packaging waste by 88 per cent, in comparison to the same grocery shop from a UK supermarket. 


From B Corp to Club Zero


In 2019, Abel & Cole certified as a B Corp – that is, a firm that looks at the triple bottom line, and uses the power of business to address social and environmental problems. The company vowed to continue finding innovative ways to be as sustainable as possible – and ‘Club Zero’ is the firm’s next bold step in this journey. 


Club Zero members will be able to order staple pantry items in fully reusable, returnable pots, nicknamed 'VIPs' – Very Important Pots. These 'VIPs' will then be collected the following week, to be reused again, and again, and again. 


The service will open to everyone by the end of February. 


Huge growth in appetite for sustainable products


Managing Director Hannah Shipton, who has been working for Abel & Cole for over 13 years, said: “People have become increasingly aware of climate change, and we have witnessed a huge growth in the appetite for sustainable products and ways to shop. I hope Club Zero helps anyone looking to cut down on single use packaging, particularly those without the ability to get to a zero waste refill shop or those not wanting to jump in the car to get to one (undoing their intention!).”


Specialist zero waste consultants, Unpackaged, worked with Abel & Cole to develop the Club Zero trial. Catherine Conway, the founder of Unpackaged remarked that: “Abel & Cole are taking a bold step in helping their customers drastically reduce packaging, which is the kind of leadership we need to see from business to help us out of the global plastic packaging crisis we face."

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