Unilever has announced some ambitious new commitments to reduce its plastic waste and help create a circular economy for plastics.
The Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant has pledged to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025, reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by 100,000 tonnes through multiple use packs, naked products, use of alternative packaging materials and concentration of product. In addition, it will accelerate its use of recycled plastic and help collect and process more of the plastic packaging that it does sell – 600,000 tonnes annually by 2025 to be precise.
“Plastic has its place, but that place is not in the environment. We can only eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the plastic cycle,” said CEO Alan Jope.
“Our starting point has to be design, reducing the amount of plastic we use, and then making sure that what we do use increasingly comes from recycled sources. We are also committed to ensuring all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
“This demands a fundamental rethink in our approach to our packaging and products. It requires us to introduce new and innovative packaging materials and scale up new business models, like re-use and re-fill formats, at an unprecedented speed and intensity.”
Unilever has committed to limiting its virgin plastic packaging footprint to no more than 350,000 tonnes by 2025, down from the current 700,000 tonnes.