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Unilever boosts recycling of end-of-life freezers

Brazil – According to Brazilian-Argentine ice cream producer Kibon, well over 17 000 freezers have been recycled via the advanced reverse logistics programme launched in 2010 by major Anglo-Dutch multi-national consumer goods group Unilever.

Fully-owned by Unilever, Kibon states that approximately 7000 ice cream freezers reach the end of their life-cycle every year in Brazil alone. In a ‘€˜complex process’€™, it is now able to ensure that all components are reused or disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.

The Unilever freezer initiative has involved working in partnership with recycler DMM Refrigera̤̣o to yield a system to: remove the freezers; strip them down; and separate the various materials such as steel, copper, glass and plastic, forwarding these on to recycling companies. Components found to be in good condition Рfor instance, compressors Рcan go for reuse in other equipment.

Unilever’€™s Governmental Affairs Manager Juliana Marra says specialist labour and procedures are required for some of the more demanding freezer recycling tasks such as treating refrigerant gases. ‘€˜In older equipment, gases such as HCFC and HFC can still be found,’€™ she states.

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