Sonke designs, manufactures and manages automated refill stations. We give consumers and businesses economic incentives to make sustainable choices.

Long description

“Sonke” is a Zulu word meaning “All of Us”. Sonke is an African start-up which was founded to give all Africans an economic incentive to make environmentally friendly choices. Sonke designs, manufactures and manages automated refill stations for fast-moving consumer goods. (Dishwashing Liquid, Fabric Softener etc.)

Sonke gives consumers a price incentive to refill packaging, instead of purchasing packaged goods. This saving is achieved by;

  1. Eliminating single use plastic packaging.
  2. Improving logistics & manufacturing efficiency by only handling bulk product.

Sonke is a values-driven business, with environmental sustainability at its core. As such, the business model employs all three “R’s” of waste management throughout its operation;

  • Reduce: Sonke provides shoppers with an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to reduce plastic use through refilling.
  • Re-use: Sonke encourages shoppers to use any clean container when buying. Furthermore, Sonke’s bulk liquid containers (used to re-stock the machines) are re-used until failure, before being recycled.
  • Recycle: All Sonke bulk liquid containers are sold directly to a recycling company, thereby ensuring no leakage into the environment.

Current re-use models are disproportionately aimed at high income shoppers, who comprise a tiny proportion of the total South African population. Sonke aims to democratize sustainable re-use solutions in South Africa, to have a real impact across the income spectrum. Sonke refill technology was designed for FMCG, however, recently the business has explored how re-use models could add value in different industries;

Automotive, Marine & Aviation – Lubricants
Mining – Lubricants, chemicals
Hospitality – Alcohol

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