Unilever has vowed to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025, by reducing its use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic.
Since the end of 2019 through to 2020, the company has started using more recycled plastic from consumers and continued their testing for more reusable and refillable packaging. New innovations have also been launched to reduce their use of plastic, introducing items such as recyclable based ice cream tubs, which is estimated to save around 4,500 tons of plastic being released back into the environment. Here are some other innovations from Unilever:
- Recyclable Carte d’Or ice cream tubs made from paper.
- Comfort expanded its ultra-concentrated fabric conditioner which has a 57% smaller dosage. It requires less water to produce and needs less packaging, which saves resources and produces less waste.
- A company from France called Signal has created a toothbrush with a replaceable head. The materials used reduces virgin plastic by 95%.
- Hair products from ‘Love, Beauty and Planet’ which use 50% less plastic.
- Beauty brand Dove has moved to 100% recycled plastic bottles in North America and Europe where feasible. Many other brands under Unilever’s wing have also made the same move.
- PG tips is planning to remove plastic film off boxes by the end of 2021, something they are very excited about! They also offer fully biodegradable teabags.
- In Chile, Unilever has partnered with Algramo on an app-powered, intelligent dispensing system which has thrived during lockdown thanks to its tricycle distribution system across Santiago.
Unilever also works in several other countries around the globe to help combat the worlds ever-evolving plastic problem. In Indonesia a platform called ‘Google My Business’ is used which allows consumers to access the location or nearby waste banks directly on Google Maps. The goal is to make 2,000 waste banks available on the platform and continue to grow from there. Additionally in a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, Unilever also runs collection and recycling programs in India, helping over 33,000 households.
Goals for 2025 are as follows:
- Halve their use of virgin plastic with a reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes.
- Collect and process more plastic packaging than sold.
- Ensure than 100% of their plastic packaging is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable.
- Increase the use of post-consumer recycled plastic material in packaging by 25 percent at the very least. .