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Returnable Bag assists India in becoming plastic-free

India is aiming to get rid of all single-use plastics by 2022. The ambitious goal is supported by the launch of the returnable shopping bags by Lindström India. The first pilot for the reusable and returnable textile shopping bag is now on its way in Pune.

Lindström India has started a pilot with Venus Traders, a premium stationery firm operating in Pune, in three different locations. According to Harshavardhan Galat, Business Unit Manager Lindström India, Venus Traders is an innovative and future-oriented firm that takes responsibility for the environment. No wonder that the idea of the revolutionary bag service took off quickly in the country aiming to get rid of all single-use plastics by 2022.

“It was easy to start the piloting with Venus Traders. Already from the first days, we can see that in this partnership, we are both encouraging the consumer to choose a sustainable option which represents circular economy as its best”, says Harshavardhan Galat, Business Unit Manager Pune, Lindström India.

Enabling responsible choices for consumers

The desire to make sustainable choices is one of the growing trends in the consumer world. Venus Trader wants to help its customers make decisions that follow their values and to make it easier for their customers to make responsible choices. Their customers can now choose to pack their groceries in a Returnable Bag which represents the way of circular economy in India!

The Returnable Bags were first launched in Finland at the end of 2018 and follow the principals of the circular economy. The bags were developed together with customers towards a more sustainable and consumer-friendly service. The Returnable Bag is designed to be a substitute for cotton bags and plastic bags, and eventually, reduce raw materials used in the manufacturing process.

“We don’t mind paying a few rupees extra if it supports sustainable mind-set and promotes the circular economy,” explains Surendra Karamchandani, Owner of Venus Trader.

Exceeding the expectations already on the first day

The pilot was initially meant to take place only at one of the Venus Trader’s stores, but due to the positive reaction from the consumers, the pilot was extended to the second store already the second day. Lindström’s Customer Service Representative Rakesh Koli was promoting the bag at the store over the weekend and was happy to notice how well the store staff had understood the service and how active they were to encourage consumers to choose the bag.

The bag service concept is very simple in Pune: Consumer buys the bag from the store at the price of 40 rupees, uses as long as he or she wants and upon return to the store, changes the old bag to a fresh one for a 5 rupees price and the cycle continues. After the return, Lindström collects the used bags, washes and maintains them and returns the bags fresh and clean to the circulation.

The innovative Returnable bag can be used and washed several times by Lindström. Regular washing and maintenance are designed to keep the lifecycle of the bags as long as possible and their environmental impact low. Lindström washing process enables the use of the minimum water and energy when washing the bags.  I believe that by promoting the concept of Returnable Bags in the Indian retail industry I can contribute to saving the environment in my own way,” explains Rohit Deshmukh, Sales Representative, Lindström India.

Lindström Group