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Averda, Spinneys
& Nestle Waters – collaboration is key for waste reduction initiatives

In July 2011, atria – an averda Group company – joined forces with the supermarket chain Spinneys and Nestle Waters to launch a project entitled "Protect Lebanon - Recycle Today" aimed at recycling plastic bottles and cans in Lebanon.

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After more than 5 years into the partnership, almost 1,000,000 aluminium cans and in excess of 5.5 million plastic bottles were recycled. With a number of users reaching no more than 13,000 when the project started in 2011, now this unique initiative has attracted over 145,000 individual users:

An initiative set up by Averda’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Mohammad Ali Hodeib, the partnership entailed atria providing the Reverse Vending Machines which could be used by any consumers to dispose of beverage plastic bottles and aluminium cans for recycling, with Spinneys offering a special incentive supported by Nestle Pure Life to consumers for sorting and bringing their empty plastic bottles and/or aluminium cans to atria’s machines.

In 2011, “Protect Lebanon – Recycle Today” was piloted in Dbayeh and Ashrafieh Spinneys stores. Today, atria’s Reverse Vending Machines can also be found in Jnah, Tilal Ashrafieh and Hazmieh, representing a modern-style solution to making recycling easier and more accessible to consumers. Designed to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill or disposed of inappropriately, each machine can hold an average of 600 bottles and cans, easily recognizing non-recyclable materials due to its state-of-the-art intelligent sensors.

Aiming to raise awareness across its customer base that bringing empty bottles and cans for recycling can become part of the shopping experience in Spinneys stores, the supermarket chain has also produced a video with very clear explanations related to the in-store recycling process.

As per Ms. Layal Darwish, atria’s Managing Director, “atria has installed more than 35 Reverse Vending Machines in schools and universities across Beirut, aiming to expand our network of recycling points across other supermarkets, too. While atria management have observed an increased awareness trend related to recycling, its importance and positive impact upon the environment, there is still a lot to do by private and public actors to ensure that recycling becomes a way of life, one in which we all have a very important role to play”