Agthia, Veolia strengthen their commitment to drive sustainability efforts in UAE

Initiatives of the cooperation include enhancing recycling of PET bottles and assessing the opportunity to include recycled PET (rPET) in Agthia’s water bottling industry; 2 tons of recyclables were collected using the Recapp app within the first 3 months of its soft launch.


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Plastic Recycling
 
February 24 2021
 
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Agthia Group PJSC, a leading regional food and beverages company, announced that it continues to propel its partnership with Veolia, a leader in resource management, via successful sustainability initiatives launched over the past year. The MoU between Agthia and Veolia was first signed during Gulfood 2020 and underscores the shared commitment of the two companies to drive sustainability efforts by working together with the community, said the company.    

One such initiative was the launch of the Recapp mobile application, an innovative digital service developed by Veolia to provide a free of charge door to door collection for recyclables in Abu Dhabi. Agthia and Veolia worked hand in hand to promote the service and to provide a rewarding scheme that has been implemented since the launch of the project in November 2020. In just 3 months, the app has garnered more than 1,000 users and has helped collect more than 2 tons of recyclables, as per the statement. With Recapp, Veolia aims to collect more plastic bottles and other recyclables in order to use them in the production of the recycled material that will be used in the production of new packaging products.

“Agthia recognises the importance of providing innovative and digital collection solutions to address the challenges of post-consumed plastic bottles and promote recycling. It was encouraging to see the participation of our environment conscious consumers in helping us collect more than a ton of plastics through the Recapp app. We look forward to building on our current success with Veolia to further refine our sustainability programme,” said Alan Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Agthia Group.

“To build a circular economy, involvement of all stakeholders is paramount. In the UAE, Veolia is committed to develop a recycling ecosystem and close the loop of resources by supporting the packaging industry, led by Agthia, in the development of alternative Eco-packaging solutions,” said Sébastien Chauvin, Chief Executive Officer at Veolia Middle East.

“With RECAPP, our new digital collection service, we will be able to locally source the post consumed PET packages that Veolia will transform to a food grade recycled rPET in our future state of the art plant. This rPET will be delivered to companies like Agthia that are keen to reduce their environmental footprint and decarbonate their products. Segregating recyclable waste at the source is key in achieving a circular economy, Recapp is creating an eco-conscious mindset and empowering residents to act positively towards more sustainable communities,” he added.

“Our partnership with Veolia is an important step to adopt the circular economy approach towards proper resource management. Recycling is key for the transition from a linear to circular economy and plastic and other solid waste need to be reused, recycled or composted for a better future and environment,” said Dr. Rabih Kamleh, Chief Quality and R&D Officer of Agthia.

Some of the other successful initiatives include the PET collection service at the Community Support Division in Al Wathba, where Agthia provided all the infrastructure required to collect the bottles, and launched the awareness campaign, while Veolia collected the plastic waste and ensured full traceability and proper recycling.

The collaboration also focused on the opportunity to include recycled PET (rPET) as a substitute for virgin plastic in water bottles. Veolia collected PET bottle samples from the UAE and produced food grade rPET material that is being solely utilised in the research and development of Al Ain water bottles – demonstrating promising results during the initial trial phases, as per the statement. In line with the ambition to explore new eco-packaging solutions, Agthia also introduced the plant based (PLA) packaging material, that was used to make the Al Ain Plant Bottle, the region's first plant-based water bottle.

 

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