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Interzero’s Sammelheld ON TOUR: Give us the deposit, protect the environment and support ALBA Jugend

“Give us your deposit” was the motto at ALBA BERLIN’s Euroleague match against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday evening in Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. The Sammelheld start-up by Interzero Circular Solutions presented its mobile service for taking back deposit bottles in Berlin with this call to action.

What is behind Sammelheld?

“Sammelheld” is the name of Interzero’s new business model: a mobile collection service for deposit bottles that manages handing them in to local collection bikes using an app. Users can locate an e-collection bike near them, hand in bottles and collect environmental points with the smartphone app, which is available in both the Google Play Store and in the Apple Store. These can be redeemed as vouchers at various partners – or donated to ALBA Jugend in Berlin. The same system will also be on the road in Osnabrück at the end of November, collecting small electrical appliances instead of deposit bottles.

At the ALBA BERLIN game on Tuesday evening, Sammelheld was featured on clap banners and the perimeter advertising. The albatross, the Berlin basketball team’s mascot, whizzed across the court on the Sammelheld collection bike during the breaks. The prominent display in the hall motivated many of the spectators to download the service app and donate their starting balance.

The circular economy on three wheels

With Sammelheld, Interzero is primarily targeting consumers and offering them incentives through a reward system to hand in their bottles or small electrical appliances and thus recycle them. An initiative that is urgently needed because the ambitious legal collection quotas are far from being achieved so far: old electrical appliances are often stored in private cellars for years and are then disposed of improperly, deposit bottles end up in plastic waste far too often. With its local approach and the use of an app, the Sammelheld service makes it easy and convenient to return items. As a result, it gives private individuals a new opportunity to protect the environment and brings raw materials back to the producers and into the closed loop.

“With Sammelheld, we are linking a digital tool to a classic take-back system and thus creating an innovative, new business model,” Mara Küsters, Project Manager Business Development ICSG, explains.Sebastiaan Krol, CEO ICS, emphasises how important this approach is for a world without waste: “It is incredibly important that we keep developing new recycling concepts to organise the supply of raw materials in closed loops. The digitalisation of services and processes provides huge opportunities in this regard. Our social commitment can also be integrated very well through this.”

Spectators score points for ALBA Jugend

Spectators who downloaded the app onto their mobile phones on the evening of the game received a starting balance of 60 environmental points. Many of them know: ALBA Jugend has been committed for years to inspiring children and young people to lead healthy lives through sport and to imparting sporting values such as team spirit, coordination and a positive attitude to life.

Sammelheld set a good example and started the fundraising campaign with 1,200 deposit bottles, a starting revenue of 300 euros. The highlight of the evening at the arena was the cheque presentation on the court: together with the albatross, ALBA’s mascot, Torben Kabbe, Head of Business Development ICSG, handed over the donation cheque to Igor Ryabinin, Head of Sustainability and Social Affairs, who expressed his sincere thanks for supporting ALBA BERLIN’s important youth work.

Aim is to expand to other locations and material flows

The Sammelheld service is still being tested in two pilot projects: from now on, the collection bicycles for returnable bottles are on the road in Berlin. At the end of November, Sammelheld will also start in Osnabrück, near the Interzero sorting plant in Melle: old electrical and electronic equipment is being collected there, instead of bottles. If the pilot initiative goes well, Interzero will expand the bicycle fleet to other cities and additional material flows.

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About Interzero:

Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe in the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability performance and conserve primary resources.

With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities could save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 8.7 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2022 alone. As a pioneer in the circular economy, Interzero is winner of the German Sustainability Award as well as the related special award in the “Resources” transformation field for 2024.

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