Unilever and Veolia have signed a deal to work together on emerging technologies, and in particular focusing on material collection. The new three-year collaboration will look to expand waste collection and recycling infrastructures around the world.
This work will ensure that recycled materials are used properly and that they are added back into the value chain as opposed to being sent to landfill. Veolia will execute used packaging collections, add to its recycling capacities and develop new processes and business models in various countries.
The project is due to start work in India and Indonesia initially, but will be expanded to other countries throughout the project.
Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally is recycled after use, with a staggering 40% ending up in landfill and a 30% ending up in fragile ecosystems such as our oceans.
Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, Marc Engel talked about the project saying, “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.”
Laurent Auguste, senior executive vice-president of Veolia for development, innovation and markets, added: “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.”