Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) has introduced the 1st ever refill machine in country for dispensing liquid type products to its consumers as part of its innovative approach to reduce plastic use through technology and behaviour change, said a press release.
Dr Abdul Hamid, director general, Department of Environment, has inaugurated the machine at Unimart Gulshan as the chief guest in presence of Masud Iqbal Md Shameem, director (Environment clearance), Department of Environment, Zaved Akhtar, CEO and managing director of UBL, and Murtoza Zaman, CEO of Unimart Limited, and other senior officials of Unilever Bangladesh.
The programme was organised by Unilever Bangladesh in collaboration with Unimart Limited.
The refill machine allows anyone to refill Rin and Vim liquid at a discounted rate by bringing an empty container e.g., an airtight jar and old Rin or Vim liquid bottle.
In alignment with Unilever's sustainability strategy, UBL has a commitment to cut the use of virgin plastic to half in its packaging process by 2025. To fulfill that commitment, UBL has taken this innovative initiative to reduce plastic use.
This new machine is easy to operate where consumers can refill the bottle with very simple steps in touch screen and they can decide their own volume ranging from 200 ml, 400 ml, 500 ml, 800 ml, 1 liter, 1.5 liter and 2 liters.
This way consumer will use the same bottle repeatedly and as a result it will promote the practice of reusing plastic packaging.
The machine was developed by Unilever R&D team in collaboration with a global startup company, which has been checked and validated by Metrology Division of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution.
Currently, Unilever has established two machines at Unimart, Gulshan 2 and Agora, Japan Garden City, Mohammadpur. The further expansion of this initiative will be evaluated based on the lessons learned from this pilot. The company is also working to develop another pilot at the end of this year targeting the consumer at rural areas.
Zaved Akhtar, CEO and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh, said: "To tackle the root causes of plastic waste we need to think differently about packaging. We need bold innovations that challenge existing designs, materials and business models. Our priority is to fundamentally rethink our approach to packaging and pave the way for new solutions such as reusable and refillable formats. By adopting a 'test, learn and refine' mentality, we have developed innovative solutions that will help people cut their use of plastic for good.”