“There is an undeniable need to transform the current way plastic packaging end of life is managed in order to reduce significantly its environmental footprint,” says Laurent Auguste; senior executive vice president of development, innovation, and markets at Veolia; in a media release about the resource management company’s newly announced partnership with Unilever.
To achieve such a transformation, Auguste believes, “It will take a collaboration of a new kind between all the actors of the value chain.”
And he explains that “with this global partnership, Veolia and Unilever join forces in various geographies around the globe and, from the collection to the recycling, take a leadership role to redefine a responsible and sustainable future for packaging.”
A plan for post-consumer plastic
Unilever is working toward a self-imposed goal to be, by 2025, using plastic packaging only if it is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable. And since recyclables are only ever actually recycled if there’s a lucrative market for the resulting material, the multinational has also pledged to use 25% recycled material in its packaging by that same deadline.
According to the media release, “Veolia will work with Unilever to implement used packaging collection solutions, add recycling capacity and develop new processes and business models through this partnership in various countries.” The partnership will begin with material collection projects in India and Indonesia.
From there, presumably, the companies will build on their learnings and expand collection and recycling efforts accordingly.
“The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next two decades,” acknowledges Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer. “We all have a lot more to do to address this critical issue and we hope that by partnering with Veolia, a world leader in waste management, we can take meaningful strides towards a circular economy.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.