Unilever and Veolia have agreed to work together on emerging technologies that will help create a circular economy on plastics across various destinations.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 14% of the plastic packaging used globally is collected for recycling after use, with 40% ending up in landfill and a third in fragile eco-systems.
Both companies have acknowledged that the issue of plastic waste is a shared responsibility that requires action across the value chain to develop and scale up collection and reprocessing infrastructure.
The collaboration will focus on material collection, which will help channel recycled content back into the value chain. Veolia will work with Unilever to implement used packaging collection solutions, add recycling capacity and develop new processes and business models and will cover a range of countries.
Unilever chief supply chain officer Marc Engel said: “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. 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.”
Veolia senior executive vice-president for development, innovation and market Laurent Auguste said: “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. It will take a collaboration of a new kind between all the actors of the value chain.
“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”.