16.01.2017

Unilever commits to 100% recyclable plastic packaging

Unilever has committed to ensuring that all of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The company has also committed to renewing its membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for another three years and endorsing and supporting that organisation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. As part of this, it will publish the full “palette” of plastics materials used in its packaging by 2020 to help create a plastics protocol for the industry.

Unilever has also committed to investing in proving, and then sharing with the industry, a technical solution to recycle multi-layered sachets, particularly for coastal areas which are most at risk of plastics leaking into the ocean. The company has already committed to reducing the weight of the packaging it uses this decade by one third by 2020, and increasing its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25 per cent by 2025 against a 2015 baseline, both as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. In 2015, it achieved its commitment of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its manufacturing operations.

“Our plastic packaging plays a critical role in making our products appealing, safe and enjoyable for our consumers. Yet it is clear that if we want to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material, we need to do much more as an industry to help ensure it is managed responsibly and efficiently post consumer-use,” said Paul Polman, Unilever CEO.

As part of its commitment, the company will ensure that by 2025, it is technically possible for its plastic packaging to be reused or recycled and there are established, proven examples of it being commercially viable for plastics re-processors to recycle the material.


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