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March 17, 2021

Unilever North America invests $15m to recycle packaging waste

UK-based consumer goods company Unilever is investing $15m via its North American branch to recycle plastic packaging waste in the US.

UK-based consumer goods company Unilever is investing $15m via its North American branch to recycle plastic packaging waste in the US.

The investment has been made to help recycle an estimated 60,000 metric tonnes of packaging waste each year by 2025. This is equivalent to more than half of Unilever’s total plastics footprint in North America.

This will support the company in meeting its goal of collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells by 2025.

Unilever North America president Fabian Garcia said: “We believe plastic’s place is inside the circular economy where it is reused, not in the environment.

“We’re advocating to transform the recycling system for a waste-free world and we urgently need business investment to help make it happen.”

The investment has been made via Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund, a private equity fund focused on building the circular economy by acquiring companies along the value chain.

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Closed Loop Partners founder and CEO Ron Gonen said: “Unilever is a pioneer and leader when it comes to recognising the economic, social and environmental value of embedding circular economy principles throughout their business, critically moving from ambitious commitments and goals to tangible action and progress.

“Unilever’s investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund, as well as its existing investment in our Infrastructure Fund, will help accelerate the shift towards more circular supply chains by scaling best-in-class circular business models and supporting the technological breakthroughs and sustainable innovations that keep valuable materials continuously cycling in manufacturing supply chains.”

Unilever currently uses post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic packaging to help meet its sustainability goals, using around 59,000mt of PCR each year.

This month, the company decided to remove the word ‘normal’ from all packaging and advertising for its beauty and personal care brands, after research found that customers felt the word had a negative impact when used in branding.

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