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Unilever boosts recycled content, sustainability targets

One of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world is pledging that its plastic packaging in North America will contain 50 percent recycled content by the end of this year.

Unilever's brand portfolio includes Suave, Axe, Seventh Generation and Hellman's.

"We know that the response from the consumer goods industry is critical in determining the speed that positive change takes place around plastic packaging, and using less, better or no plastics is a priority at Unilever," Amanda Sourry, president of the company's North America operations, said in a statement. "Today, we are 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."

Unilever revealed its plans to increase recycled plastics use as part of retail giant Walmart Inc.'s sustainability meeting in Bentonville, Ark.

The company said a three-point plan to address its packaging, including the use of the How2Recycle label on all packaging — not just plastics — by 2021.

The label, developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, is a standardized messaging system that helps guide consumers information about packaging recycling.

Unilever, with global headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, also said it would work with Walmart on "Bring it to the Bin," a program to help educate consumers both at the store and online about recycling. The program will include incentives for recycling packaging and will start later this year.

"These Unilever initiatives are important steps, but we can't create a circular economy for plastic packing in isolation," Sourry said in the statement. "We need collective action to take the problem at the source."

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Publication date: 11/04/2019

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Last update: 2022-01-31