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An image of HUL's 'Smart Fill' product vending machine.

‘Smart Fill’ empowers consumers to reduce plastic waste

At Hindustan Unilever, we recently launched ‘Smart Fill’ machine – an in-store vending model for our Home Care products with the aim to reuse, reduce and recycle plastic. In the pilot phase, the vending machine has been installed at Reliance Smart Acme Mall in Mumbai. This industry-defining initiative offers consumers an innovative option to reuse plastic bottles by refilling our home care products like Surf excel, Comfort and Vim through this ‘Smart Fill’ machine.

To access products from the Smart Fill machine, consumers can either use old empty bottles or purchase a Smart Fill bottle from the store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers are being offered INR 30 off on the MRP or effective price at the store if they get their bottle and Rs 15 off to those who purchase the Smart Fill bottle. The flagship brands that consumers can avail of these benefits on include: Surf excel liquid for Top Load and Front Load washing machines; Comfort Fabric Conditioner and Vim Dishwash Liquid Gel. The functionality and the benefits of using the machine are further explained in a digital film that supports this initiative.

Watch the digital film:

Speaking about the initiative, Prabha Narasimhan, Executive Director (Home Care) for Hindustan Unilever and Vice President (Home Care) for Unilever South Asia said, “As a responsible corporate, HUL has always endeavoured to find comprehensive solutions that include systemic rethink about plastic usage. Through this initiative, we wish to bring about a positive change in our society and make continuous progress towards a circular economy. The launch of the Smart Fill vending machine is yet another step to address one of the challenges of managing plastic packaging waste. We hope this innovation will bring awareness and give consumers an opportunity to contribute effectively to managing plastic waste.”

Our three-pronged consumer-centric approach of ‘Reuse, Refill and Reward’ is to build mass public awareness that changes the way plastic is viewed, used and managed. In addition, we aim to use learnings from this pilot project to create a scalable refill business model in partnership with prominent retailers and modern trade outlets.

At Hindustan Unilever Limited, we recognise the need to operate as a socially responsible Company. We have committed to ensuring that 100% of our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. We have further committed to halving the use of virgin plastic by reducing the absolute use of plastic packaging and accelerating the use of recycled plastic. We have committed to collecting and processing more plastic packaging waste than the plastic used in our product packaging. We will also enable the collection and processing of over 1 lakh tons of post-consumer plastic waste through our partners across the country.