Lidl refill machine laundry detergent pouches

Source: Lidl

The machines take the space of 66 Formil bottles but can fill over 245 pouches before needing replenishment

Lidl has introduced refill machines for Formil laundry detergent pouches in a two-store trial launching today.

Customers can pick up an empty pouch and use a touchscreen to choose their favourite detergent. They then position the pouch on the machine to be filled. Thanks to so-called ‘closed-fill’ technology, the process does not require removal of the cap, making it mess-free, according to Lidl.

The machine can also distinguish between new and used pouches, and grants customers a 20p discount when refilling. It makes refilling the cheapest laundry wash option at Lidl, according to the discounter.

Lidl said the machines, designed by Chilean sustainability start-up Algramo, took up the space of 66 Formil bottles but could fill over 245 pouches before needing replenishment, therefore providing efficiency gains.

It said the technology would also help it understand how many times each pouch was refilled and therefore how much packaging had been saved through the trial.

They have been installed in stores in Swadlincote, Derbyshire and Lichfield, Staffordshire.

It follows an initial six-month pilot of a larger, standing refill machine at Lidl’s Kingswinford store.

“We are incredibly proud of this latest innovation, which will enable our customers to save money and reduce their plastic consumptio,” said Lidl GB CSR manager Mark Newbold.

Read more: Why did Tesco call time on Loop packaging-free trial?

“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.”

Algramo UK country manager Chris Baker 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.”

Tesco launched a 10-store trial of a range of branded products in prefilled and reusable containers in September last year, but the trial was wound down nine months later, with the supermarket saying work was needed to encourage a consumer behavioural shift.