As You Sow praises Unilever’s plastic use reduction plan

As You Sow Praises Unilever’s Plastic Use Reduction Plan, But Collection Goals Need Unprecedented Collaboration and Funding

plastic use reduction

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BERKELEY, CA—Oct. 7, 2019—Today, Unilever announced ambitious new commitments to reduce its plastic waste and help create a circular economy for plastics. Unilever said that by 2025 it will halve its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic, and help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

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Conrad B. MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow, had this to say about the Unilever announcement:

As You Sow salutes Unilever for committing to totally eliminate 100,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and increase the use of recycled plastic content by 2025. This commitment builds on a 2017 commitment made by the company, following engagement with As You Sow, to make all packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

“Subsequently, As You Sow asked the company to go further in dialogue with investor allies who comprise the Plastic Solutions Investor Alliance. We asked Unilever to set plastic use reduction goals. The company has clearly responded with an ambitious plan. We also asked it to develop alternatives to plastic packaging, which it appears to be doing by performing a ‘fundamental rethink’ in its approach to packaging, exploring reuse, and refill delivery systems.

Plastic use reduction statement

“However, meeting these recycled content collection goals will require unprecedented collaboration among stakeholders including governments, consumers, other consumer goods businesses, and recyclers, and greatly increased funding. We look forward to receiving more details on how this will be implemented. Additionally, we recently noted PepiCo’s failure to increase U.S. bottle and can recycling rates after eight years of effort. We hope Unilever can learn from the previous failed efforts of others, and undertake unprecedented collaboration with stakeholders, including aggressive promotion of extended producer responsibility, or similar, legislation in the U.S., where we continue to suffer from embarrassingly low recycling rates.”

To learn more about As You Sow’s work on plastic use reduction, click here




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver