Unilever makes push for plastic sachet recycling
As part of their ‘Sustainable Living Plan’, Unilever has undertaken to use only recyclable, re-usable or compostable packaging by 2025. Now, working in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute (IVV), the company has successfully developed a new form of recycling technology for four-edge-sealing packaging – so called sachets. The new CreaSolv® process relies on an innovative procedure, which is used to recover raw materials from television sets.
Unilever says that billions of disposable sachets are sold every year, particularly in developing and growth markets. The little plastic pockets enable low-earning consumers to buy small quantities of a product, which they would otherwise not be able to afford. After use, however, the sachets often end up littering the environment or in waste tips. According to Unilever, the plastic from the sachets that are recycled in the CreaSolv® Process can subsequently be re-used to make new sachets.
David Blanchard, Chief R&D Officer at Unilever, explains: “We intend to make this tech open source and would hope to scale the technology with industry partners, so others – including our competitors – can use it. There is a clear economic case for delivering this. We know that globally $ 80-120 billion is lost to the economy through failing to properly recycle plastics each year. Finding a solution represents a huge opportunity. We believe that our commitment to making 100% of our packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable will support the long-term growth of our business.”
Source: Unilever, Photo: Fotolia / final09