COMMITMENT

Unilever in ambitious plastic management plan

By 2025, the global consumer goods company will eliminate more than 100,000 tonnes of plastic packaging.

In Summary

• Unilever has confirmed that by 2025, it will have its use of virgin plastic by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic.

• It also plans to help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

Mr.Green Africa head of supply chain Stephanie Atika and President and CEO Unilever (Plc) Paul Polman during a visit at the firm's Industrial Area plastic waste recycling plant yesterday/Courtesy
Mr.Green Africa head of supply chain Stephanie Atika and President and CEO Unilever (Plc) Paul Polman during a visit at the firm's Industrial Area plastic waste recycling plant yesterday/Courtesy

Unilever, owner of brands including Lifebuoy, Royco, Lipton and Omo has announced ambitious new commitments to reduce its plastic waste and help create a circular economy for plastics

Unilever has confirmed that by 2025 it will have its use of virgin plastic,by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic.

It also plans to help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells

This commitment makes Unilever the first major global consumer goods company to commit to an absolute plastics reduction across its portfolio.

Unilever is already on track to achieve its existing commitments to ensure all of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and to use at least 25 per cent  recycled plastic in its packaging, also by 2025.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope said: “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.”

“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,” Jope added.

Unilever’s commitment will require the business to help collect and process around 600,000 tonnes of plastic annually by 2025.

This will be delivered through investment and partnerships which improve waste management infrastructure in many of the countries in which Unilever operates.

Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation said:"Today’s announcement by Unilever is a significant step in creating a circular economy for plastic. By eliminating unnecessary packaging through innovations such as refill, reuse, and concentrates, while increasing their use of recycled plastic, Unilever is demonstrating how businesses can move away from virgin plastics.”

Since 2017, Unilever has been transforming its approach to plastic packaging through it’s ‘Less, Better, No’ plastic framework.