To help save the planet, big companies are testing a reusable packaging service

It’s no great secret that we waste a whole lot of packaging. Even with a greater focus placed on recycling, plenty of packaging still winds up in landfills, oceans, and a host of other places. A new startup wants to help change that — and it’s doing it by bringing back a business model many of us haven’t seen in years.

“Loop is the world’s first and only known platform that sells a wide variety of branded products in durable reusable packaging,” Lauren Taylor, a spokesperson for Loop, told Digital Trends. “Once empty, the packaging will be collected at a consumer’s home and automatically refilled. It is an age-old concept — [think] the ‘milkman’ of the 1930s — that is being rebooted, modernized, and applied to hundreds of products that were never [available in reusable] models before.”

Companies working with Loop include Pepsi, Unilever, Nestle, among others. Customers can go to the Loop website or Loop partner website and select the products they want. These are then dropped off in state-of-the-art durable packaging. Items range from foodstuffs to household products. There’s no need to clean and dispose of packages once they’re empty. Consumers simply place the empty container into a provided tote bag, which Loop will then pick up directly from their homes while delivering new ones where required.

“We’ve had a very positive response from the public,” Taylor continued. “I think the world is ready for Loop because consumers and manufacturers have come to realize that recycling is critically important to help a symptom, but it is not going to solve waste at the root cause. … To us, the root cause of waste is not plastic; it’s using things once, and that’s really what Loop tries to change as much as possible.”

Loop will be launching in May in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in the United States, as well as in the Paris metro region in France. It will follow in the U.K. in the third quarter of the year, while customers in California, Canada, and Japan will get the chance to participate in 2020. Should all go according to plan, presumably other markets will open up after that.

Cars

How Nissan’s ‘invisible-to-visible’ tech could pave the way for autonomous cars

Nissan is experimenting with what it calls “invisible-to-visible” (I2V) tech. It’s meant to connect cars to a virtual world, but will it work in the real world? That’s what we asked Nissan’s Roel de Vries.
Computing

Give your PC a new lease of life by upgrading its core components

Older PCs can still be great tools for work and play, they just need a little upgrade now and again. Here are the best upgrades you can make to your PC to make it feel fresh and fast once again.
Computing

The Razer Core X Chroma is the best external GPU you can buy

The third entry in Razer's lineup of external graphics card enclosures, the Core X Chroma, brings together the best of its previous options in a single package. With RGB lighting and extra USB ports, is this the best you can buy?
Product Review

The 2019 Ford Mustang GT 350 finally has the grip to (almost) tame its V8

Four years after its debut, the standard GT350 finally gets the suspension and tire package it always needed. While evolutionary rather than revolutionary, Ford’s update takes the Shelby’s track prowess and fun factor to a new level.
Emerging Tech

Google wants to map the world's air quality. Here's how.

For the past several years, a growing number of Google’s Street View cars have been doing more than just taking photos. They’ve also been measuring air quality. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

Soaring on air currents like birds could let drones fly for significantly longer

Birds are sometimes able to glide by catching rising air currents, known as thermals. This energy-saving technique could also be used by drones to allow them to remain airborne longer.
Cars

Volkswagen is launching a full range of EVs, but it doesn’t want to be Tesla

Volkswagen is preparing to release the 2020 ID.3 - an electric, Golf-sized model developed for Europe. It sheds insight into the brand's future EVs, including ones built and sold in the United States.
Emerging Tech

Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I.

Remember the text-generating A.I. created by research lab OpenA.I. that was supposedly too dangerous to release to the public? Well, someone just released a version of it. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Think your kid might have an ear infection? This app can confirm it

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new A.I.-powered smartphone app that’s able to listen for ear infections with a high level of accuracy. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

San Francisco won the battle, but the war on facial-recognition has just begun

San Francisco has become the first city in America to ban facial recognition. Well, kind of. While the ruling only covers certain applications, it's nonetheless vitally important. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX calls off Starlink launch just 15 minutes before liftoff

High winds above Cape Canaveral on Wednesday night forced SpaceX to postpone the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in a mission that would have marked the first major deployment of the company’s Starlink internet satellites.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX scraps second effort to launch 60 Starlink satellites

Wednesday's planned SpaceX launch of 60 Starlink satellites was pushed back due to bad weather. Thursday's launch has also been postponed, so the company said it will try again next week.
Emerging Tech

UV-activated superglue could literally help to heal broken hearts

Scientists at China's Zhejiang University have developed a UV-activated adhesive glue that is capable of efficiently healing damage to organs, including the heart. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

USC’s penny-sized robotic bee is the most sci-fi thing you’ll see all week

Engineers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have built a bee-inspired robot that weighs just 95 grams and is smaller than a penny. Check it out in action here.