Unilever’s Circular Economy Approach – Using 50% Recycled Materials in Packaging


News at a glance

  • Last week, Unilever announced that the company is expecting to contain 50% of the recycled material by the end of 2019. However, the company didn’t specify its current quantity of recycled material used in packaging.
  • “Significantly accelerating our plastic packaging commitments in North America and are thrilled to be working alongside other industry leaders like Walmart to push these initiatives forward”, said Amanda Sourry, Unilever North America President.
  • The company is also planning to add a label, named ‘How2Recycle’ which will provide clear instructions to consumers on how packaging should be discarded. The company is expecting all of its packaging to have these labels by the year 2021.

In 2017, Unilever announced its commitment to plastic packaging. The company said that it is planning to “increase its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline.”

Unilever is also planning to work with Walmart in order to educate shopkeepers on proper recycling under its program “Bring it to the Bin.”

Amanda Sourry said, “We need collective action to tackle the problem at the source by working with forward-thinking companies like Walmart, advocating for systemic change in government and recycling facilities, working closely with plastics suppliers, and educating consumers.”

Unilever is making these announcements when numerous retailers are making similar commitments to sell things in increasingly sustainable packaging. Walmart itself intends to achieve 20% post-buyer reused content in private brand packaging by 2025. Also, Trader Joe has announced different sustainable packaging activities after facing consumers’ pressure.

Companies are now understanding the negative impacts of plastic packaging on wildlife and nature and therefore they are planning to take initiatives towards sustainable packaging.