Unilever runs rings around circular packaging

Unilever has followed its recent achievement of sending zero waste to landfill across its factory network with a peer movement focused on waste solutions. In London last week it brought together over 100 representatives from academia, NGOs and sector companies to create a movement for change on zero waste. Unilever currently purchases over 2.4 million tonnes of packaging a year and has been looking for ways to deal with post-consumer waste due to increasing resource scarcity.

“The more we reduce our packaging and the less waste that goes to landfill, the greater the cost savings in materials, energy, transport and disposal,” said Unilever in a statement. “The more we can design in a circular way, the more value we can create for our company and for others.” T

he company is focused on resource efficiency and designing for circularity in order to reduce its inputs and ensure outputs can be re-used as a valuable input. Unilever tackles waste and packaging by reducing and reusing; enabling its packaging to be refilled; recycling and moving to a circular economy; working towards a zero-waste business; and reducing end-to-end food waste. The company's goal is to halve the waste associated with the disposal of our products by 2020, and the London meeting was aimed at addressing the estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of solid waste that's collected worldwide – largely from developing countries.

The event created an open discussion about Unilever's collaborative approach on waste, which currently involves bottle supplier Sonoco, global building materials company Holcim, a green team in Mangalore, India, and Unilever's Partner to Win suppliers.

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