Unilever is the most popular company with more than 400 brands of food, health, and household products & accessories. It is certain that seven out of every ten household products contain at least one of the products of Unilever. They want to grow the business but not at the expense of people or environment. So the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) is the most important plan of the company. It has few very important and impactful goals.
Three Basic Goals
- Help people in improving their health and well-being.
- Bisect the environmental footprints of products.
- Enhance the livelihood of people by 100% sustainable agriculture raw material.
Furthermore, Unilever has taken a huge step towards the betterment of ecosystem and economy by announcing that all of their plastic packings will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. It is named as Circular Economy where 100% of the plastic will be recycled. In a circular economy, materials can be regenerated and continuously flown around a closed loop system. Otherwise, it is estimated that if this plastic use continues to remain same and is continuously added to the ecosystem than by 2050 there will be more plastic in oceans than fishes. This circular economy will benefit business as well as environment too. The effective use of the material will lower the cost of production and there will be less wastage in the environment.
Plastic sachets are used worldwide especially in low-income countries and developing countries where people have to buy the regular products in small portions according to their budget or income. Sachets help them to buy and use all of these products which otherwise will be unaffordable to them. But where all that waste goes with these single used sachets? Only 14% is recycled and the rest is used as landfill as a part of the sustainable living plan. For the first time Unilever has launched a plan to recycle all the plastic, so 100% of the plastic will be recyclable till 2025 as promised by Unilever.
For this purpose, Unilever has introduced a new technology named as CreaSolv Process. It has been developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany. In the complete process; plastic will be recovered from all the thrown away sachets and will be used to create new sachet again for Unilever products.
Unilever will continue its work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastics Economy plan and continue looking for further solutions. They will also renew the membership of EMF for another three years to endorse and support their New Plastics Economy initiative.
They are also encouraging consumers to help them in recycling these waste plastic. For this purpose, they had launched different programs previously including COP22 & “Zero Plastic” movement. Their plan of engaging consumers has three main steps.
Sensitize: They are increasing consumer awareness regarding the impact of sachet waste on environment and ecosystem. They are using educational campaigns, online TV programs and promotional posters.
Collect: They have made collection points at retailer’s outlets and launched incentive programs for consumers, so consumers will bring their used sachets for recycling and can win few free coupons or things from this instant win program.
Recycling: Collected sachets are sent to the factory on monthly basis for recycling and most of the time recycled into energy.
As a sensible consumer, it’s our responsibility to add our role for our economy and environment and stop the plastic entering our waterways and to help the industry to fully recycle the plastic packing.