Unilever speeds up plastic recycling strategy in US

TerraCycle Include USA P&G Ren Herbal Essences
Unilever has announced plans to accelerate its sustainable commitments in North America.   The personal care and household conglomerate, which counts beauty brands Dove, TreSemmé, Tigi and St Ives as part of its portfolio, has unveiled a three-part plan to target plastic use in the US. The first stage of the strategy will see the company endeavor to see 50% of its plastic packaging made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content by the end of 2019. The second step will see ‘How2Recycle' labels that feature clear recycling instructions incorporated into all packaging by 2021. Finally, the company is teaming up with Walmart on an educational program set to launch later this year titled ‘Bring it to the Bin,' which will encourage and inform shoppers about recycling all packaging, including bathroom products. "Today, we are significantly accelerating our plastic packaging commitments in North America and are thrilled to be working alongside other industry leaders like Walmart to push these initiatives forward," said Unilever North America President Amanda Sourry in a statement, calling for wider efforts in reducing plastic waste across the consumer goods industry. "We need collective action to tackle the problem at the source by working with forward-thinking companies like Walmart, advocating for systemic change in government and recycling facilities, working closely with plastics suppliers, and educating consumers. Only together will we answer the urgent call made by the plastics issue we are facing." Unilever has set itself a global target of making all of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by the year 2025, as part of the company's ‘Sustainable Living Plan.' The corporation is not the only major beauty player tackling the issue of plastic pollution: the Procter & Gamble-owned hair care brand Herbal Essences joined forces with the waste management giant TerraCycle last month to launch a series of bottles comprising 25% beach plastic, while REN Clean Skincare has pledged to become completely "zero waste" by the year 2021.