Those who are less young may remember: every morning, the milkman would leave a bottle of fresh milk on the doorstep in exchange for the previous day’s empty one left on the doormat… This concept is brought back to the palate of the day at Ile -de-France West for one year by La Tournée, around its warehouse in Cormeilles-en-Parisis (Val-d’Oise). Launched in November 2021, the company has just surpassed the 2,000 customer mark. The beginning ? Everyone starts out with 20 or 40 cents out of their pockets per glass jar, depending on the shape. Then, on the next delivery, when the used packaging is picked up, that amount is credited back into the account space.
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Buoyed by its success, La Tournée is developing in neighboring Yvelines and Hauts-de-Seine. Among the new municipalities served: Chaville, Le Chesnay, Marnes-la-Coquette, Saint-Cloud, Sèvres, Versailles, Ville-d’Avray, Viroflay*… As for the catalogue, it went from 200 to 500 references, favoring short circuits to reduce carbon impact. Pasteurized fresh milk continues to be the flagship, at 1.35 euros a litre. But the glass bottles also contain soft drinks – more expensive, and returnable glass is more expensive than plastic – in addition to soups, beers, washing powder or dishwashing liquid. Wood cellulose makes it possible to expand the range, for the packaging of cheese and butter: it passes to composting, mandatory until 2024 in all condominiums. “We are thinking of packing coffee, tea, pasta ourselves…”announces Juliette Poiret, founder of La Tournée, amid yellow and red boxes stacked to the ceiling.
A washing center in Seine-Saint-Denis
Those containing empty bottles will be sent to the Uzaje washing center in Neuilly-Plaisance (Seine-Saint-Denis). This other young shoot, also put on the track in 2021, claims a cleaning that consumes less water and cleaning products. All clean, the glass vessels are returned to the producers, ready to be refilled. The Tour has already saved 175,000 glass bottles from the trash. “Recycling them is extremely energy intensive, whereas a container can be reused up to fifty times”says Zaccarie Morel, the last partner to join the team of around twenty employees.
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This project was envisioned in Hong Kong, where Juliette Poiret worked in strategic consulting. “Flying three times a week to big polluting industries made no sense to me anymore” says this Sciences-Po Paris graduate. Two figures challenged her: more than 500 kilos of waste generated per year and per person in Europe, and only 20% of household waste recycled in the Île-de-France, according to a study by Ordif, the Waste Observatory d’Île-de – France, dated 2021. The 30-year-old is then interested in returning the deposit to some Monoprix and some Carrefour via the Loop platform. “But only 40% of customers make the effort to bring their empty bottles back to the stores, she watches, although that formula worked well before it disappeared in the 1980s. I told myself we had to look them up. » This service was inspired by English and German models and, in France, by Le Fourgon, created in Wambrechies, near Lille (Nord).
The businesswoman met her first partner, Camille Perbost, an engineer, at Station F, startups campus (13th). The investment amounts to 2.5 million euros, co-financed by the regional council. Initially, the pair made the rounds alone aboard an electric van that they recharged at a socket in Camille’s parents’ garden, in Vésinet (78). In February, the fleet will have thirteen vehicles.
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Offered for now, delivery will now be charged, between 2 and 3 euros, with a view to profitability. This first installation was aimed at a suburban residential area where customers can store boxes at home. A second warehouse will soon be built in the southeast of the Ile-de-France region. When will there be deliveries in Paris, knowing that La Tournée is based on the 19th? “Intramural logistics are complicated due to traffic jams, floors going up with heavy loads and too small closets in the apartments”, reply the three partners. Ambitious, however, they think of staggered tours and the creation of relay points.