Unilever takes steps towards a circular economy - RNY News

Unilever takes steps towards a circular economy

November 7, 2018

Jennifer McMillan

Unilever makes the move away from the linear model of "take-make-dispose" towards a circular economy by finding a new life for rigid plastic recycled from Australian homes

Unilever will become the first major consumer goods company to give rigid plastics from Australian homes a new life. They will do this by using Australian sourced post-consumer recycled plastic containers, saving approximately 750 tonnes of recycled plastic per year. Unilever will introduce at least 25% recycled plastic into bottles becoming one of the industry leaders paving the way for a circular economy by creating an end market and new life for recycled plastic such as shampoo and laundry detergent bottles. Unilever will begin piloting and testing the new recycled plastic bottles over coming months and aims to have the new bottles on the shelf as early as possible in 2019.

Clive Stiff, CEO Unilever Australia & New Zealand, said we need a complete shift in how we think about and use resources.

“As a consumer goods company, we are acutely aware of the consequences of a linear take-make-dispose model and we want to change it. We are proud to be taking this step forward, but no business can create a circular economy in isolation. 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,” said Mr Stiff.

Unilever has set a target to ensure 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Check out the National Recycling Week research report From Waste War to Recycling Reboot for more positive recycling stories.

Jennifer McMillan

Jennifer joined the Planet Ark team to support the 2018 National Tree Day campaign. With a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Master’s degree in Journalism, she is passionate about science communication with a focus on multimedia storytelling. Prior to joining the Planet Ark team she travelled to Jordan as a foreign correspondent. She works as a vet nurse in her spare time!