Asda has launched a trial with fabric conditioner sold in reusable pouches from vending machines in a bid to reduce packaging waste.

The trial – funded by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) – and partners Asda, Eziserv, McBrides and Unilever, will start in Barnsley and be rolled out to four other shops.

The fabric conditioner is piped from resusable containers via overhead pipes to a dispensing point in the retail aisle. Customers can refill pouches up to 10 times, saving 40p each time compared to the same volume of product in traditional plastic bottles.

Dr Richard Swannell, director of retail at WRAP, said the trial could signal a radical change in the retail environment:  “Reusable packaging offers us an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the retail experience.  We have already seen positive responses from consumers in relation to carrier bag reuse and if this trial enjoys similar success, it could mark the start of a reusable revolution.

“The retail industry is watching this trial with a great deal of interest because there are clear opportunities for reusable packaging in relation to all manner of products ranging from laundry products to paint.”