Davos — In the environmentalists’ mantra “reduce, re-use, recycle” almost all of the attention has been paid to recycling. Now some of the world’s biggest consumer brands are trying to shift the focus to the second R, with a programme that provides products in re-usable containers that can be returned for a refund. The durable packaging programme, called “Loop” — a reference to a theoretical circular economy where nothing is wasted — debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. Led by New Jersey-based recycling company TerraCycle, Loop will offer popular products from about 25 companies including Nestle, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo in re-usable containers that customers order online or purchase in stores and return to the company when finished. The effort evokes the milkman of the 1940s, or even the glass bottle deposits still collected today. In many ways, that’s a better model, said TerraCycle founder Tom Szaky. “In the milkman model, the packaging was owne...

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