HUL‘s first-of-its-kind ‘Smart Fill’ machine empowers consumers to reduce plastic waste

Sat, Jul 10, 2021

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HUL‘s first-of-its-kind ‘Smart Fill’ machine empowers consumers to reduce plastic waste

Mumbai, July 08, 2021: Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has launched its first ‘Smart Fill’ machine – an in-store vending model for its Home Care products with the aim to reuse, reduce and recycle plastic. This industry-defining initiative offers consumers an innovative option to reuse their plastic bottles by refilling products from HUL’s brands like Surf Excel, Comfort and Vim through the use of this smart refillery.

To access products from the Smart Fill machine, consumers can either use their old empty bottles or purchase a Smart Fill bottle from the store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers are being offered INR 30 off on the MRP or effective price at the store if they get their own bottle and Rs 15 off to those who purchase the Smart Fill bottle. The flagship brands that consumers can avail these benefits on include: Surf Excel liquid for Top Load and Front Load washing machines; Comfort Fabric Conditioner and Vim Dishwash Liquid Gel. The functionality and the benefits of using the machine are further explained in the company’s digital film that supports this initiative.

Watch the digital film here:

Speaking about the initiative, Prabha Narasimhan – Executive Director (Home Care) for Hindustan Unilever and Vice President (Home Care) for Unilever South Asia said,

“As a responsible corporate, HUL has always endeavoured to find comprehensive solution that includes systemic rethink about plastic usage. Through this initiative we wish to bring about a positive change in our society and make continuous progress towards a circular economy. The launch of Smart Fill vending machine is yet another step to address one of the challenges of managing plastic packaging waste. We hope this innovation will bring awareness and give consumers an opportunity to contribute effectively in managing plastic waste.”

HUL’s three-pronged consumer-centric approach of ‘Reuse, Refill and Reward’ is to build mass public awareness that changes the way plastic is viewed, used and managed. The company aims to use learnings from this pilot project to create a scalable refill business model in partnership with prominent retailers and modern trade outlets.

Damodar Mall, CEO Grocery Retail at Reliance said,

We are excited about this initiative with HUL. Reuse & Recycle is a natural instinct in India families. A unique feature of most urban neighbourhoods is a micro-entrepreneur shop that buys household material for recycling. These societal habits must find their modern expressions, too. HUL Refillery is one such smart effort. Our shoppers at Smart Superstore are already loving it. We are looking forward to taking the Refillery idea to many more urban centres, along with the HUL Team.

At HUL, we are working towards effective plastic waste management. We are committed to accelerating a transition to a circular economy, moving from the linear take-make-dispose model to a regenerative approach, which keeps materials at their highest value for as long as possible. We recently announced that from 2021 onwards, we will collect and facilitate environment-friendly processing of more plastic packaging waste than the plastic we use in our packaging. Since 2018, we have facilitated safe disposal of more than 1.5 lakh tons of post-consumer use plastic waste with the help of collection and disposal partners across India. We are also working closely with the government and other partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Xynteo for end-to-end pilot projects for plastic waste management. Apart from this, the Education Department of Maharashtra, HUL and Xynteo have rolled out a digital school curriculum focused on the importance of segregation, collection and safe disposal of waste. The programme reached nearly one lakh children in Maharashtra during its pilot last year and is currently being scaled across the state.