“We can only eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the cycle,” says Unilever CEO Alan Jope. “This demands a fundamental rethink in our approach to our packaging and products. It requires us to introduce new and innovative materials, and scale up new business models, like reuse and refill formats, at an unprecedented speed and intensity.”
“Our vision is a world in which everyone works together to ensure that plastic stays in the economy and out of the environment. Our plastic is our responsibility and so we are committed to collecting back more than we sell, as part of our drive towards a circular economy. This is a daunting but exciting task which will help drive global demand for recycled plastic.”
On any given day, around 2.5 billion people, across more than 190 countries, use our products to feel good, look good and get more out of life. This puts us in a unique position to be part of the solution and realise our vision for a waste-free world where no packaging ever enters the environment – on land, in waterways and in our oceans.
Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, says: "Today’s announcement by Unilever is a significant step in creating a circular economy for plastic. By eliminating unnecessary packaging through innovations such as refill, reuse and concentrates – while increasing their use of recycled plastic – Unilever is demonstrating how businesses can move away from virgin plastic.
“We urge others to follow their lead, so collectively we can eliminate the plastic we don’t need, and also innovate, so what we do need is circulated, and ultimately build an economic system where plastic packaging never becomes waste."
In Unilever UK & Ireland, progress towards these targets is being accelerated under a five-point plastic plan, #GetPlasticWise. This new campaign is a holistic approach to rethinking plastics in Unilever UK & Ireland’s products, working towards keeping plastics within their plastic economy, not in the environment.
Last year, Unilever UK & Ireland became a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, an ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative, led by WRAP, which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK. As well as accelerating progress towards these targets, Unilever UK & Ireland is working towards making a significant contribution towards the UK Plastics Pact targets.