Unilever, the consumer goods giant behind brands including Marmite, PG Tips and Ben & Jerry’s, has unveiled ambitious new environmental commitments to reduce its plastic waste.
By 2025, the company has committed to half its use of virgin plastic by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerate its use of recycled plastic.
It has also pledged to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.
Unilever confirmed that it 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% recycled plastic in its packaging, also by 2025.
“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,” said CEO Alan Jope.
“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’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.
Since 2017, Unilever has been transforming its approach to plastic packaging through its ‘Less, Better, No’ plastic framework.