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10/10/2022

Walmart pilots reusable containers for home delivery program

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart InHome delivery
Some Walmart+ InHome members will have a reusable packaging option.

Walmart is providing select members of its Walmart+ InHome delivery service with sustainable packaging.

The discount giant is partnering with Loop, the circular reuse platform developed by TerraCycle, to enable InHome users in the metro areas of Bentonville and Rogers, Ark. to purchase a limited assortment of products in refillable, reusable containers.

After consumers use the products, they place the empty containers in a designated spot inside or outside their home for a Walmart associate to retrieve them. From there, the containers are sent to Loop to be sanitized, then returned to participating brands to be refilled and returned to the store for future purchase.

Launched in 2019, Walmart’s InHome service delivers fresh groceries, everyday essentials and other products directly into customers’ homes, including placing items straight into their kitchen or garage refrigerator.  The service also provides pick up for Walmart.com returns.

Once signed up for InHome, a customer places their order on the Walmart app and selects InHome as their preferred delivery option. A trained InHome associate completes the delivery. 

Upon arriving at the customer’s home, the associate uses a one-time access code to unlock the customer’s door or garage through their InHome app, which pairs with smart entry technology. The Walmart app notifies the customer at every step and a camera, worn on the associates’ vest, records the entire delivery, which customers have access to from their phones for up to a week after each delivery.

The new Walmart+ Loop assortment offers food and household products from brands including Gillette, Clorox, Cascade, Kraft Heinz, Seventh Generation, and Love Beauty and Planet, with more brands being added in the coming months. 

Walmart is also partnering with TerraCycle, as well as CPG manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G), to offer free in-store recycling collection for empty hair care, skincare and cosmetic packaging at 25 of its stores located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

[Read more: Walmart partners with P&G in beauty recycling pilot]

The program is known as the Walmart U.S. Beauty Recycling Program. Participating stores feature dedicated collection bins for beauty packaging. The discounter has committed itself to becoming a “regenerative” company — helping to renew people and the planet through its business. The company detailed progress towards its goal in its recently released 2022 “Environmental, Social and Governance Summary Report.” 

“Identifying models that can make shopping easy, convenient, affordable and sustainable is a core part of how we pursue our commitment to becoming a regenerative business at Walmart. By leaning into reuse with Loop and so many of our brand partners, we see a unique opportunity to help our customers eliminate packaging and single-use plastic from many of their regular purchases,” said Corey Bender, VP, merchandising for household essentials, Walmart U.S.

"Loop was designed from the ground-up to reinvent the way we consume by learning from historic circular and sustainable models, while honoring the convenience afforded by our single- use consumption of today,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop and TerraCycle. “Walmart and Loop have come together to create a simple and convenient way to enjoy a wide range of products, customized in brand-specific reusable packaging, with the convenience of in-home delivery.”