Asda is trialling a trolley washing machine, which can “thoroughly sanitise” them within 15 seconds, at a store in Leeds.
The unit, at Asda’s Morley superstore, works by coating trolleys in fine particles of anti-microbial solution. The process is water-less, runs on electricity and uses an electrostatically charged mist to ensure that all touch points such as handles, rails and child seats are thoroughly sterilised.
Staff will pass nests of trolleys through the machine and put them straight back into the trolley bays, ready for customer use.
“We know having a safe and hygienic environment to shop in is something on many customers’ minds right now,” said Graeme Wightman, senior manager of store services at Asda. “This trial uses new technology to ensure trolleys are thoroughly sanitised before use.
“We continue to make shopping safely a priority for customers, building upon hygiene measures already introduced like the provision of hand sanitiser to all customers in our stores,” he added.
The permanent trolley wash facility – which Asda is the first supermarket to trial, it claimed – has been developed by UK company the WasteCare Group. A single tank of the anti-microbial solution can sanitise up to 20,000 trolleys.
“It has been developed to support retailers in taking the next step to help customers shop safely. It’s great to see a retailer such as Asda leading the pack and trialling new and innovative solutions,” said the WasteCare Group chairman Peter Hunt.
Earlier this month, The Grocer revealed Asda was trialling the use of fully autonomous floor cleaning robots at a handful of its stores.
The trials were all part of the supermarket’s effort to find “innovative ways to help customers shop safely” a spokeswoman said.