PepsiCo and the Saudi Waste Management Center (SWMC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a strategic partnership that aims to enhance sustainability in the Kingdom. The MoU highlights the two parties’ role in promoting sustainability policies based on international best practices to support a circular economy. The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah F. Al-Sebaei, CEO and board member of SWMC, and Tamer Mosalam, vice president, general manager GCC and Levant business unit, PepsiCo.
The first sustainability project in the partnership saw Aquafina (the brand of purified bottled water produced by PepsiCo) and the SWMC introduce innovative solutions to facilitate a more environmentally friendly Hajj. To do this, the two parties provided customized smart bins especially built for the event around Makkah’s holy sites. The smart bins can segregate, and crush plastic bottles to minimize plastic waste. The machines operate through solar power and reduce carbon footprint.
Additionally, an Aquafina recycling awareness campaign encouraged pilgrims to actively participate in making sustainable choices. The results of the project will help inform and guide future projects in next year’s Hajj when the Kingdom will once again welcome back millions of pilgrims to the Kingdom.
To produce the smart bins, PepsiCo delivered on its commitment to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during COVID-19. The company worked with Cycled to create customizable Aquafina-branded smart bins for this year’s Hajj.
SWMC CEO Al-Sebaei said: “Our partnership with PepsiCo gives us an opportunity to generate more awareness on the importance of sustainable waste collection and develop a proactive culture of recycling.”
Mosalam said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, represented by Saudi Waste Management Center.”