Concept: UK’s cleantech startup Again has developed the CleanCell system, an automated package cleaning cell that uses robots and automation to allow businesses to reuse packaging. Its network of innovative packaging cleaning facilities aims to save Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands 90% on reusable packaging, as claimed.

Nature of Disruption: CleanCell technology is used to clean reusable packaging and prepare it for refill and reuse, addressing the problem of single-use packaging. It claims to deliver CleanCells in the size of shipping containers that consume 76% less water and 90% less energy than standard recycling methods. CleanCells are also intended to provide information on packing inventories as well as potential cost reductions. The startup provides a decentralized network of automated micro-cleaning facilities that allow companies to reuse packaging. It boasts that the output capacity would be able to clean thousands of packing units per month. The startup aims to move the fast-moving consumer goods industry away from single-use packaging and toward circular packaging.

Outlook: Reusable packaging is the way of the future, but it is now out of reach for most companies due to its high cost. Again aims to create a circular economy by serving as the infrastructure that supports the packaging aspect on a large scale. It is collaborating with brands such as Budweiser Brewing Group and Diageo, as well as waste management organizations like Biffa and SWRnewstar, to develop a reusable packaging solution that would allow billions of pieces of packaging to be reused cost-effectively. Again plans to make it economical for firms to reuse packaging rather than purchase a one-time container by 2025. In April 2022, the startup raised $2.77M in a pre-seed funding round led by Eka Ventures. With this funding, it intends to establish a CleanCell system pilot program with its partners.

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