Red Stripe has announced a suspension of its Full for Empties (FFE) bottle return policy for all customers. The FFE policy suspension took effect on Monday, January 16.
“We expanded the FFE policy last year to address an ongoing global shortage of glass bottles due to supply chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic. Thanks to the cooperation of our customers and consumers, our bottle supply is now sufficient to allow for suspension of the requirement for retailers/wholesalers to purchase D&G products in quantities equivalent to the number of empties returned”, asserted Red Stripe’s Head of Commercial, Sean Wallace.
Recycling glass packaging material is an essential part of Red Stripe’s ‘Red-Cycling’ programme, which is the centrepiece of the company’s sustainability efforts to protect the environment and ensure circularity in its operations.
The FFE Policy was implemented in response to the global supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the low bottle return rate in the domestic market.
FFE was expanded in August 2022 to include previously exempt channels such as supermarket chains, independent supermarkets, gas and convenience stores as well as hotels.
Wallace added, “Although our supplies of bottles have increased, our commitment to the returnable glass bottle (RGB) strategy has not waned. FFE was not just about bottle supplies but also about creating and maintaining a sustainable supply chain. Like many of our initiatives, the FFE policy was aimed at increasing our sustainability.”
According to Wallace, the RGB strategy played a significant role in fast-tracking Red Stripe’s long-term environmental and sustainability goals. “These goals include the growth in the recycling of materials, the subsequent reduction in waste entering landfills, and resulting in reduced costs to our consumers. By continuously increasing the rate of bottle returns, we provide long-term benefits for customers, consumers and the environment,” he said.
Despite the suspension of the FFE Policy, the Red Stripe commercial director urged consumers to continue returning bottles to maintain a consistent supply and to do what is right for the environment.