A KINGSWINFORD supermarket store is trialling the UK’s first-ever supermarket ‘smart’ laundry detergent refill station, to help customers cut plastic and costs.

Launching as a six-month pilot at Lidl in Stallings Lane, shoppers can buy a 100 per cent recyclable refill bottle to fill with one of four Lidl own-brand detergents for no extra cost.

Lidl estimates the trial alone will save nearly 3,000 single-use plastic containers.

By reusing the same dedicated bottle, shoppers will also save 20p with every refill.

Mark Newbold, corporate social responsibility manager at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, we believe you shouldn’t have to pay more for doing the right thing. It’s why we’re especially proud to be trialling this pioneering refill technology that not only helps customers reduce their plastic usage, but also their weekly shopping bill.”

The refill bottles have been designed with a UK-first smart chip, allowing the machine to register and recognise the bottle.

Once the refill process is complete, shoppers can collect the ticket printed with the chosen product’s barcode and pay at the till with the weekly shop.

The innovative refill machines are fully automated – making the process simple and fast, also helping to avoid spills created by manual refill machines.

The trial, a partnership with Chilean sustainability start-up Algramo, builds on Lidl’s commitment to combatting plastic waste, which has already seen the removal of 1 billion pieces of plastic from stores, plus a commitment to reduce the use of plastic packaging by 40 per cent by 2025.

The refill machine will support four laundry detergents from Lidl’s Formil range:

· Formil Super Concentrated Bio, £1.69 (£1.49 for every refill)

· Formil Super Concentrated Non-Bio, £1.69 (£1.49 for every refill)

· Formil Super Concentrated Tropical Lily, £1.89 (£1.69 for every refill)

· Formil Super Concentrated Honey Petals, £1.89 (£1.69 for every refill)