Moscow, 2 August 2019 – X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, and Unilever, a major manufacturer of fast moving consumer goods, installed reverse vending machines at seven Perekrestok and three Karusel stores in Moscow as part of a pilot project to collect used plastics for recycling. A partnership agreement to put into action circular economy principles was signed in June 2019 on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The parties will decide on a further roll-out of the project based on the results of this pilot programme.
The reverse vending machines will encourage consumers to sort their waste by issuing a coupon for 10% off a selection of Unilever products at Perekrestok and Karusel stores for each item of packaging that is submitted. The machines accept used PET bottles and plastic containers for household chemicals irrespective of the manufacturer. The company in charge of reverse vending machine maintenance, plastic transportation to recycling facilities and recycling will be EcoTechnologies.
Elena Konnova, Corporate Communication Director at X5 Retail Group, said: “Х5 is committed to maximising recycling in order to reduce the amount of landfill waste. We already recycle all of the non-food waste generated by our stores and DCs. A month ago, we piloted plastic packaging collection at our Pyaterochka proximity stores. Now, together with our partners, we will run a similar project in the Perekrestok and Karusel formats.“
Irina Bakhtina, Vice President for Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever, commented: “Our partnership with X5 is one of the few examples of implementing circular economy principles in Russia, which comes in the form of making plastics reusable through high-tech recycling. This is a win-win situation as our project helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills or incinerators, grants responsible customers of X5 Retail Group useful discounts and boosts the sales of our household chemicals brands led by Domestos.“