Unilever announces ambitious new commitments for a waste-free world

Reduce our use of virgin plastic packaging by 50% by 2025, with one third coming from an absolute plastic reduction

We will deliver this firstly by eliminating more than 100,000 tonnes of plastic from our packaging globally over the next five years. We know that reducing our use of plastic is critically important, which is why we are going to accelerate multiple-use packs, reusable, refillable and naked product innovation. The rest we will deliver by increasing our use of recycled plastics.


Help collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell by 2025

One of the most important steps in eliminating plastic pollution is preventing it getting into the environment. That’s why we are saying ‘we want our plastic back’; in fact, we want to go further, by collecting and processing more plastic than we sell. Our commitment will require the business to help collect and process around 600,000 tonnes of material annually by 2025. We will deliver this commitment by:

i)                    Investing and partnering to improve waste management infrastructure

ii)                   Purchasing and using recycled plastics in our packaging

iii)                 Participating in extended producer responsibility schemes where Unilever directly pays for the collection of its packaging

Over the last five years, Unilever has collaborated with many partners across the world to collect plastic packaging across a number of our markets. Our intention is to accelerate our efforts across emerging economies as we work with others to develop more comprehensive waste management solutions.

These commitments are very ambitious and challenging for our business to meet. We are still establishing how best to deliver against both targets, but we know we will need to fundamentally change our approach to plastic packaging and our products. This is an exciting opportunity that will require us to introduce new and innovative packaging materials and scale up new business models.

We accept the need to go further and faster, but we can’t do this alone. From product designers to product users, the decisions we all make are vital to eliminate plastic waste.