Unilever acknowledges reduction and new business models are critical to tackle plastic pollution

by Perry Wheeler

October 7, 2019

Washington, DC – Unilever announced today that it plans to reduce 100,000 metric tons of its single-use plastic packaging and focus its efforts on collection and switching to recycled content by 2025. The announcement comes just days after a Greenpeace USA report called out companies for opting for false solutions, such as emphasizing recycling and switching to other throwaway materials such as paper or bioplastics, rather than refillables.

In response Graham Forbes Global Project Leader at Greenpeace USA said:

“It’s good that Unilever has finally acknowledged that the days of relying on fossil fuels to produce single-use plastic packaging are numbered, and that a fundamental move away from throwaway packaging is required to end the plastic pollution crisis. While this is a step in the right direction, for a company that uses 700,000 metric tons of plastic annually, Unilever’s continued emphasis on collection, alternative materials, and recycled content will not result in the systemic shift required to solve the growing plastic pollution problem.

“We encourage Unilever to prioritize its efforts upstream by redesigning single-use plastic and packaging out of its business model, and being more specific about the investment it will be making in reusable and refillable alternatives. As one of the first global companies taking this challenge seriously, Unilever has the opportunity to lead the sector out of the plastic mess it has created. Multinational corporations that don’t follow suit will become increasingly irrelevant in a world where people aren’t willing to sacrifice a livable planet for the illusion of ‘convenience’.”


Download Greenpeace USA report: Throwing Away the Future: How Companies Still Have It Wrong on Plastic Pollution “Solutions


Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, +1 301 675 8766, [email protected]

Capucine Dayen, Greenpeace USA Global Comms Lead for Plastics: +33 647 971 819, [email protected] 

Perry Wheeler

By Perry Wheeler

Perry Wheeler is a senior communications specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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