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article imageUnilever and Veolia to create circular economy for plastics

By Karen Graham     Oct 26, 2018 in Environment
Unilever has signed a three-year partnership with Veolia to improve waste collection and recycling infrastructure while helping create a circular economy for plastic waste in India and Indonesia.
Consumer goods company Unilever and resource management solutions provider Veolia Group will be focusing on material collection and moving recycled content back into the value chain., the basic premise of a circular economy.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK charity whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, just 14 percent of the plastic packaging used globally is collected for recycling after use, with 40 percent ending up in a landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems.
In reaching the agreement, the two companies acknowledge that the issue of plastic waste is a shared responsibility requiring action all across the value chain - to not only scale up waste collection - but to develop the needed infrastructure for reprocessing the plastic waste.
Bank of river full of plastic garbage
Bank of river full of plastic garbage
PJeganathan (CC BY-SA 4.0)
“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,” said Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer.
Laurent Auguste, Senior Executive Vice-President of Veolia for Development, Innovation, and Markets, said: “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.”
On April 5, 2018, Unilever announced it was partnering with start-up company Ioniqa and Indorama Ventures to develop technology capable of converting PET plastic waste into virgin-grade materials available for use in food packaging, acting on its promise to have all of its plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, according to Digital Journal.
Veolia has also established some ambitious goals, announcing in December 2017 the company's plans to double plastic recycling from 250,000 metric tons to 500,000 by 2025.
More about Unilever, veolia, plastic waste, circular economy, Partnership
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