Again, a London-headquartered clean technology startup, has launched its CleanCell technology, which collects, cleans, and repackages glass bottles for refill, resulting in up to 60% less CO2 emissions than conventional recycling methods. The company aims to shift billions of units of packaging in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry from single use to reuse.
According to Again, the rising cost of single-use packaging and the growing focus of governments and companies on sustainability is causing a market shift towards reusable packaging. While there are traditional recycling systems already in place in many areas, Again seeks to provide a more efficient and economically competitive alternative, allowing both companies and consumers to save on costs.
To achieve this, Again has created the CleanCell, a micro cleaning facility that fits inside a 40-foot shipping container. Upon receiving the bottles, the facility de-labels them and removes any closures. The bottles are then washed and dried to meet food safety standards, before being subjected to visual inspection to ensure there are no defects. Using robotics, the bottles are arranged and packed into a pallet, before being shipped back to the FMCG brands for refill, forming an end-to-end supply chain for glass bottles.
Again also created a companion technology for CleanCell called Tag, a traceability platform that provides data insights for the reusable container supply chain. Again embeds a unique laser-etched QR Code on each article of packaging, allowing it to track the number of reuses, track failure and rejection reasons, offer live inventory visibility, engage consumers via a landing page, and monitor and boost return rates from collection partners. With this system, Again and its partners can monitor the exact amount of CO2 reduction and water savings obtained from using the CleanCell solution. Again is seeking to gamify the collection system, rewarding top collectors of packaging to ensure continued participation.
According to Again’s chief partnership officer, Brian Matuszewski, glass prices have been skyrocketing, creating a gap where Again can insert itself into the supply chain.
“We offer our services at the same or lower price point than what a brand is procuring for their virgin glass packaging. In fact, a lot of customers view us as a packaging supplier rather than a cleaning or recycling company. We're basically competing with the virgin glass industry because we both supply FMCG brands with pallets of bottles ready for filling. We make it easy for brands to enter our ecosystem by shipping them clean bottles in pallets – exactly the same format as they receive their virgin packaging today.”
Matuszewski explains that Again pays collection partners, such as retailers and waste management companies, to collect the bottles and bring them to the CleanCells placed in strategic locations, such as near retail outlets. The FMCG brands then buy the cleaned and palletted bottles from Again, returning them into the supply chain.
Again has already entered partnerships to supply clean bottles to several global beverage companies' operations in the UK. It has also tapped a number of online grocery retailers as collection partners, while working to bring on larger retail names on board.
Again is currently operating in the UK, and it is looking to expand to France in the future. Later this year, it is planning to scale up its operations in Scotland, to build upon its deposit return scheme (DRS). Again aims to reuse 1 billion bottles in Scotland by 2030, which can reduce industry CO2 emissions by up to 190 kilotons, lower the cost of goods, and meet environmental regulations. The program will place collection points in stores and near pubs, bars, and clubs, initially in Glasgow and later across the rest of Scotland.
“Our biggest advantage is that brands don't have to invest their own capital to build a cleaning system. We're building our infrastructure as a shared logistic service that any brand any retailer can tap into, and we can show them how much water and CO2 emissions they can save by utilizing our solution instead of relying on the status quo involving more inefficient recycling methods,” Matuszewski says.
Name: Brian Matuszewski
Email: [email protected]
Original Source of the original story >> Again launches CleanCell technology, changing the status quo of traditional recycling