Spinneys and PepsiCo partner to drive a circular economy in the UAE

March 24, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

Supermarket chain Spinneys in partnership with global Food and Beverages company PepsiCo has introduced a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) in its sustainable concept store Layan. Committed to making sustainable choices for the future, the initiative aims to increase the recycling rate in the UAE by advancing recycling infrastructure, building better consumer awareness, and ultimately, ensuring packaging doesn’t turn into waste. The in-store recycling machine forms a part of Spinneys’ ‘Let’s Close the Loop’ campaign and provides an easy solution for customers to dispose their plastic waste responsibly and in turn, enables materials to be reused or repurposed. A key vision is for the plastic waste to be converted into recycled content that can be used for the production of future FMCG products such as food packaging.

Whilst the use of plastics is an affordable, low-carbon solution for preventing food waste in global supply chains, there is a serious need to prevent them from escaping into the environment. This is why Spinneys has teamed up with PepsiCo to support its ‘Join The Ripple Effect’ initiative. It aims to ensure plastic never becomes waste in the future through the responsible collection of plastic waste. Plastic bottles collected by the RVM are recycled by local manufacturer DGrade who give new value to materials that may otherwise have been littered or added to landfill. For the single-use plastic collected from the Layan store, DGrade will create sustainable clothing from its GreenspunR yarn, including polo shirts for Spinneys’ staff to wear in stores.

 “Spinneys’ ‘Close the Loop’ campaign underscores our commitment to strive for a circular waste management system and support the growth of the recycled plastics sector. One of our key goals is to deliver the best sustainable practices, so the more we can do in our stores, the easier we make it for our local customers to help drive action for change too. This partnership with PepsiCo is a perfect example of how we can do better, together to help save our planet”, said Sunil Kumar, CEO at Spinneys.

 “We are delighted to partner with Spinneys on this important initiative. Through our global PepsiCo positive (pep+) framework, we are committed to building a circular and inclusive value chain – driven by our efforts to reuse, recycle, and reinvent. Over the years, we have invested in several initiatives including the commitment to collect and recycle the equivalent of all Aquafina packaging produced in the UAE in 2021, and partnerships with local waste management companies, to improve waste segregation and recycling. No one company or industry can alone drive the change needed to achieve a circular economy but working collectively to increase recycling rates is key to paving the way for a more sustainable future for us all”, said Aamer Sheikh, CEO PepsiCo Middle East

“Our mission is to provide a sustainable solution for plastic by recycling it into clothing. Plastic is a sustainable material when it’s recycled and should be viewed as a resource not a waste material. There needs to be a mindset shift. The RVM at Spinneys Layan store provides a facility where customers can be confident that the plastic they recycle will in fact be processed into new products, as DGrade collects and recycles the plastic from the machine at their new factory in Abu Dhabi”, added Emma Barber, Co-Founder of DGrade.

In a bid to make a successful transition to a circular economy, the UAE’s integrated waste management strategic targets include treating 75% of municipal solid waste by 2025 and 85 percent by 2035. The UAE also aims to reduce municipal solid waste generation to 1.4 kg per person per day by 2025 and 1.2 kg per person per day by 2035.  To get there, Spinneys says all stakeholders in the food production industry need to be re-thinking their food and waste systems as well as packaging optimization. In addition to its in-store plastic collection scheme, further immediate sustainability goals for Spinneys include a reduction of own-label packaging by 30% and an increase in the number of renewable materials used in packaging by 40%.

Customers who visit the Layan store and recycle a minimum of five plastic bottles immediately enter a monthly prize draw to win Spinneys shopping vouchers or a luxury food experience in the UAE. The first dining prize to be offered is a meal for four at award-winning BOCA, known for its sustainable approach to sourcing and waste management, based in DIFC. To enter the prize draws, customers must take their coupon to a customer service counter with their contact details for a chance to win either of the prizes.

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