Unilever aims to reduce, reuse and recycle

Finding solutions to deal with post-consumer waste

Refills in our home and personal care portfolio to make it possible to reuse the primary pack

As paraphrased from the HUL website: Increasing resource scarcity means it is more urgent than ever to be efficient with packaging and to find solutions to deal with post-consumer waste. We purchase over 2.4 million tonnes of packaging a year and we are determined to reduce the absolute amount of materials we use and to ensure they are reused or recycled

We are on track to meet our 2020 commitment. Our total footprint from packaging waste to landfill has reduced by 11%. We are deploying new technologies to lightweight packaging and cutting-edge techniques to optimize material use across hundreds of different designs. We are also working with others to stimulate recycling infrastructures, particularly for materials which are important to us but which are more difficult to recycle or recover, such as sachets in developing countries or aluminium aerosol sprays. This can take time but is crucial for the long-term. Key initiatives in this direction are:

Reduce waste from manufacturing

By 2015 all manufacturing sites will achieve zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. Total production waste sent for disposal will be at or below Y2008 levels despite higher production volumes.

Reduce packaging

By 2020 we will reduce the weight of packaging that we use by one-third through lightweighting materials; optimizing structural and material design; developing concentrated versions of our products and eliminating unnecessary packaging.

Recycle packaging

We will make it easier for consumers to recycle our packaging by using materials that best fit the end-of-life treatment facilities available in their countries. By 2020 we will increase the recycled material content in our packaging to maximum possible levels. This will act as a catalyst to increase recycling rates.

Reuse packaging

We will provide consumers with refills in our home and personal care portfolio to make it possible to reuse the primary pack.

Tackle sachet waste

Our goal is to develop and implement a sustainable business model for handling our sachet waste streams by 2015.

Eliminate PVC

Approximately 99.99% of PVC was removed from our portfolio by end 2012.

Reduce office waste

In our top 21 countries, at least 90% of our office waste will be reused, recycled or recovered by 2015 and we will send zero waste to landfill by 2017. By 2015 we will reduce paper consumption by 30% for every person in our top 21 countries. We will eliminate paper in our invoicing, goods receipt, purchase order processes, financial reporting and employee expense processing by 2015, where legally allowable and technically possible. 92% of our office waste was reused, recycled or recovered in 2013.