Unilever jumps on bandwagon for cleaner environment; says will halve use of new plastic by 2025

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Published: October 7, 2019 1:56:54 PM

FMCG major Unilever is the latest entrant to join the global fight against plastic waste and the company has announced its plan to cut its virgin plastic pollution to half.

Hindustan Unilever’s popular soap brand Lifebuoy (Image: Bloomberg)

FMCG major Unilever is the latest entrant to join the global fight against plastic waste and the company has announced its plan to cut its virgin plastic pollution to half. As more and more companies take cognisance of the part they are playing in environmental pollution, Unilever, the maker of products such as Dove, Lipton and Lux, said that the company will not only bring down its plastic waste but it will also contribute in processing it. To that end, Unilever will invest in refillable/reusable packs, deploy alternate solutions to avoid plastic packaging and reduce the concentration of plastic in existing packs, the company said in a statement on Monday. Currently, the company’s new plastic footprint stands at 700,000 tonnes annually. 

Further, Unilever is also working on previous commitments of ensuring that entirely all of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Along with this, the company also looks to use at least 25% recycled plastic in its packaging by the same target year. The FMCG company looks to collect and process around 600,000 tonnes of plastic annually by 2025. Announcing the company’s plans, Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said: “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”. He added that the company will have to deploy refill and reusable packages at an “unprecedented speed and intensity.”

To execute its plan, Unilever has laid down a three-pronged approach to cater to plastic waste. This includes direct investment and partnerships to collect and process waste, buying and using recycled plastics to pack products, and participating in schemes where Unilever directly pays for the collection of its packaging. 

Meanwhile, many other FMCG companies like Amway and PepsiCo too have announced plans to phase out plastic use soon.

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