The company has increased its use of post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) to around 75 000 tons globally.
PCR provides 15% of Unilever SA’s plastic footprint, an increase from 2019, and progress towards its goal to use at least 25% PCR by 2025.
‘Developing solutions to meet our plastic reduction goals will benefit the planet, consumers and livelihoods through job creation and better value products. Including recycled plastic in our packaging is essential in driving the demand for higher collection rates,’ explains Luc-Olivier Marquet, Unilever Southern Africa’s CEO.
The company has been exploring new ways of delivering products through its ‘Less, Better, No’ plastic framework. It is, for instance, relaunching a reformulated OMO liquid detergent with a 100% recyclable bottle, made using 25% recycled plastic, with plans to increase this to 35% next year. This launch is part of Unilever’s Clean Future commitment to lower the carbon footprint of its cleaning and laundry products.
The company has also partnered with Oxfam to support skills training and capacity building for recycling community-based organisations in the City of Ekurhuleni. The training involved basic business and waste management, occupational health and safety, site operational procedures, as well as soft skills such as negotiation and collaboration.
According to Luc-Olivier, working with partners such as Oxfam helps develop an inclusive circular economy that benefits communities and improves reclaimers’ livelihoods.