The MIF’s interdisciplinary partnerships are also helping move forward innovations in areas where consumers are pushing industry globally for faster results – in particular with plastic.
“Unilever are heavily investing in R&D to solve the plastics in the environment issue,” says Mark Newman. “Today there are three streams of activity focusing on less plastic, better plastic and no plastic.
“We know each of these cannot be solved by Unilever in isolation. Each requires significant collaboration, typically with the supplies of the raw materials, especially in the better plastic/no plastic arena,” he says.
“The first stage, less plastic, is being led through innovative design. Unilever packaging designers are constantly looking at how we can reduce the weight of plastic used and still deliver a packaging solution that meets the extended supply-chain demands. A recent redesign of shampoo bottles launched in China and South East Asia resulted in a 25% reduction in plastic waste.