Unilever

We’re starting something…

First major home and personal care brands to

make shift to high volumes of recycled plastic


We’re proud to share that Unilever Australia & New Zealand this week announced a landmark move to introduce at least 25% Australian sourced post-consumer recycled HDPE plastic for bottles of well-known home and personal care brands such as Persil, Dove, Surf, Sunsilk and TRESemmé. We’ll also be working on using even more recycled content wherever possible.


HDPE is a more rigid plastic type, used commonly in plastic bottles for home cleaning and personal care products. Previously, recycled HDPE plastic has been challenging to source and use for these product categories due to economic and technical feasibility.


Currently just 14% of plastic packaging used globally makes its way to recycling plants, a third is left in fragile ecosystems, and 40% ends up in landfill. In ANZ, plastic recycling rates are starting to flatline and plastic packaging waste represents an $80 billion loss to the global economy every year.


Why is this announcement significant?


This move represents the first time major home and personal care brands have come on board to use this type of Australian sourced recycled plastic, and we hope it helps kick start stronger demand for more recycled plastic.


It will create an end market and new life for approximately 750 tonnes of recycled plastic per year – equivalent to more than 100 million single-use plastic bags or 200,000 full recycling bins* – and represents a significant step forward in accelerating a circular economy by creating demand for rigid plastic (such as shampoo and laundry detergent bottles) and encouraging the recycling of common household products.



We will begin piloting and testing the new recycled plastic bottles over coming months and aim to have the new bottles on shelf as early as possible in 2019. 


How can you help?


Creating a local market and demand for all types of recycled plastic is critical and heavy lifting is needed from all players involved - suppliers, packaging converters, brand owners, policy makers and retailers, collectors, sorters and recyclers. We need a complete shift in how we think about and use resources.


We can’t do this alone and we hope others will join us to create a viable and fully circular recycling system and market.


As a consumer, you can recycle and support brands using recycled content in their packaging.

 

More information

 

You can find out more about the USLP, our work in progressing the circular economy and our local case studies on our website.


We look forward to sharing future updates in this area. If you do not wish to receive future communications from us please let us know by responding to this email. 


The team at Unilever Australia & New Zealand




*We calculated this number by putting a mix of Unilever bottles of all shapes and sizes into an Australian kerbside recycling bin. Therefore we estimate that 750 tonnes of mixed, empty bottles takes around 200,000 bins.