Elemis, Unilever and PZ Cussons sign up to ‘Re’ circular economy initiative

By Julia Wray | 26-Nov-2021

The model, ideated by Beauty Kitchen co-founder Jo Chidley, could prevent more than 100 million bottles going to landfill in three years

Sustainability advocate and co-founder of personal care brand Beauty Kitchen Jo Chidley is launching ‘Re’, a circular economy model aiming to save more than 100 million bottles from landfill in just three years.

The new initiative will invite customers to return empty packaging with the ‘Re’ logo to be washed and put back into the supply chain for reuse.

It claims to enable brands, retailers and consumers to eliminate FMCG single-use plastic packaging via several interactive methods.

These include Smart Bottles, marked with unique trackable assets and made using steel, glass and next-generation washable plastics, as well as the use of tracking and analytics throughout the supply chain, which it says will enable greater awareness of consumer behaviour and impacts.

Meanwhile, packaging developed for the ‘Re’ model will be developed to be suitable across multiple categories, including laundry, homecare, personal care, food and drink.

‘Re’ will encompass refill stations where customers can fill their Smart Bottle with a product of their choice, but pre-filled products in reusable packaging will also be available.

Finally, interactive return points for both 'prefill' and 'refill' stations will allow consumers to return their ‘Re’ Smart Bottle for washing.

In addition to Beauty Kitchen, several major retail and beauty names have signed up to ‘Re’ already, including Elemis, Unilever, ASDA, Coop, PZ Cussons and NAF! Salon.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Chidley. “It’s time to make the circular economy happen now. We are launching 'Re' to kickstart a nationwide push towards a circular economy. Our reuse model will give everyone a chance to be part of it through a simple process.

“We have demonstrated that not only do consumers want incredibly effective products, but also products that can help minimise waste to be part of a more sustainable society. We are here to help them on that journey by making the sustainable and circular choice safe and completely accessible, fair and affordable for everyone.”

Commenting on getting the wider UK FMCG industry involved, Chidley added: “We do not want a monopoly on circular economy products – we want the opposite. As a collaborative programme, we are sharing our knowledge to co-operate with other brands, retailers, and corporations to accelerate an inclusive, scalable, and repeatable circular packaging solution.

“We want every business in the country to join this initiative. This launch should be seen as an open-ended invite to join us, to both consumers and businesses. Collaboration is key to us paving the way for a sustainable future.”

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