Unilever, the British-Dutch conglomerate that owns Clear, Lipton, and Domestos, announced plans to halve its non-recycled plastic packaging by 2025 in a press release issued on October 7.
According to Unilever's statement, the company currently uses about 700,000 tons of plastic packaging every year. Its goal is to reduce plastic use by 100,000 tons. The remaining reduction will be covered by replacing new plastic with recycled materials.
"Our starting point has to be design, reducing the amount of plastic we use, and then making sure that what we do use increasingly comes from recycled sources," Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope said. "We are also committed to ensuring all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable."
“This demands a fundamental rethink in our approach to our packaging and products. It requires us to introduce new and innovative packaging materials and scale up new business models, like re-use and re-fill formats, at an unprecedented speed and intensity,” the CEO added.
The company plans to set its 2018 plastic use as a baseline. By 2025, Unilever hopes to use no more than 350,000 tons of non-recycled plastic.
Unilever's action comes amidst growing concern about the amount of plastic pollution in the environment: At least eight million tons of plastic enter the world's oceans every year, and plastic is set to outweigh fish by 2050 if nothing changes.