Better packaging

We want to cut the weight, quantity and waste of our product packaging. Could you work with us to achieve this?

The challenge

Packaging is vital to our business – it protects our products during transportation, prolongs the shelf life of food, and helps make products more appealing to consumers.

But in our drive to reduce our overall environmental impact, we're looking for novel and innovative ways to package our products to reduce their overall weight while simultaneously cutting down on waste.

We want to reduce the weight of both primary and secondary packaging, and we would be happy to explore solutions based on plastic, glass, carton and board – or which replaced any of these. But any proposal must meet the primary functions of packaging – shelf life, mechanical performance, and protection.

A successful solution could change the way billions of products are packaged – and make a significant difference to the environment and the lives of our consumers.

We are particularly interested in technical solutions which have strong sustainability credentials, and/or are safe and suitable for packaging food. If you have an approach that could help us, and if you are interested in collaborating with us, we'd like to hear from you.

What do we want?

To meet our challenge, we want to develop packaging that is:

  • multipurpose

  • lightweight

  • cost effective

What we're thinking

We have some ideas for areas where innovation could meet this challenge:

  • material solutions, including stronger polymers, additives, fillers, and fibres, or micro-bubbles

  • multipurpose films

  • thin-walling or down-gauging

  • alternative closure mechanisms and resealable packaging

  • novel design, including those from fields like architecture or building construction

  • adoption of lower cost elements like fillers, improved fibres and so on

  • stronger materials

We're open to working with partners who can help with the solutions we're already considering – or who have a technological idea we haven't thought of at all. But any solution must meet some key requirements:

  • It must be novel, and have IP protection

  • It must be cost-effective

  • It must meet the primary function of packaging

  • It must meet consumer acceptance criteria

Could you help us create a better future?

If you have a design or technological idea that could help us meet this challenge, we'd like you to get in touch.

Back to top

Connect with us

We're always looking to connect with those who share an interest in a sustainable future.

Contact us

Get in touch with Unilever and specialist teams in our headquarters, or find contacts around the world.

Contact us