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Unilever promises 100% recyclable plastic packaging

Unilever has pledged to ensure all its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The multinational manufacturer will also research technical solutions to recycling multi-layered sachets and has promised to share the results with the industry.

Unilever had already committed to reducing the weight of its packaging by one-third by 2020 and increasing the use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline.

In 2015, it sent no non-hazardous waste to landfill across its manufacturing operations.

Paul Polman, Unilever chief executive, said: “Our plastic packaging plays a critical role in making our products appealing, safe and enjoyable for consumers. Yet it is clear that, if we want to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material, we need to do much more as an industry to help ensure it is managed responsibly and efficiently post-consumer use.

“We also need to work in partnership with governments and other stakeholders to support the development and scaling up of collection and reprocessing infrastructure which is so critical in the transition towards a circular economy (CE). Ultimately, we want all of the industry’s plastic packaging to be fully circular.”

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, just 14% of plastic packaging reaches recycling plants, 40% goes to landfill while a third ends up in ”fragile ecosystems”.

Ellen MacArthur said: “By committing to ambitious CE goals for plastic packaging, Unilever is contributing to tangible system change and sends a strong signal to the entire fast-moving consumer goods industry.”

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