Hindustan Unilever’s Smart Fill solution to tackle plastic waste

Systematic rethink about plastic usage

Hindustan Unilever’s Smart Fill solution to tackle plastic waste
In-store vending machine for home care products, Photo credit: HUL

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) recently launched the Smart Fill machine – an in-store vending model for its home care products to reuse, reduce and recycle plastic. In the pilot phase, the vending machine was installed at Reliance Smart Acme Mall in Mumbai. This initiative offers consumers an option to reuse plastic bottles by refilling HUL’s 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 Rs 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 include Surf excel liquid for Top Load and Front Load washing machines, Comfort Fabric Conditioner, and Vim Dishwash Liquid Gel

Hindustan Unilever rethink about plastic usage 

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 endeavored to find comprehensive solutions that include systemic rethinking 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 managing plastic packaging waste challenges. We hope this innovation will bring awareness and give consumers an opportunity to contribute effectively to managing plastic waste.”

Hindustan Unilever’s 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, HUL aims to use learnings from this pilot project to create a scalable refill business model in partnership with prominent retailers and modern trade outlets.

Hindustan Unilever said it recognizes the need to operate as a socially responsible company. It has committed to ensuring that 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. It has further committed to halving the use of virgin plastic by reducing the absolute use of plastic packaging and accelerating the use of recycled plastic. It is also 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,” the company said. 


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