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Piles of plastic

Our ambition is an end to plastic pollution through reduction, circulation and collaboration

The plastic paradox

Packaging is essential for bringing Unilever brands into the hands of people around the world and serving their needs. But we also need to face the fact that plastic packaging – including our own – is ending up as waste in the environment.

With the amount of plastic waste produced globally set to almost triple by 2060, something has to change.

We’ve made significant progress. We’ve reduced our virgin plastic footprint by 18%. We’ve increased our use of recycled plastic to 22% of our global portfolio. And we’ve trialled a variety of reuse and refill models around the world.

Shelf full of Comfort bottles

Focusing our approach

There’s still a long way to go. We need to change the way plastic packaging is sourced, used and disposed. This will take more time, bolder innovations and systemic change. But we now have more knowledge and insights that we’re applying to update our approach.

Our plastic goals focus on the areas where we believe we can have the most impact. Reducing our virgin plastic use and developing solutions for hard-to-recycle flexible plastic, including plastic sachets, are our priorities.

Our goals

  • Virgin plastic reduction

    Reduce our virgin plastic footprint – by 30% by 2026, and 40% by 2028[a]

  • Reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging

    100% of our plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable – by 2030 (for rigids) and 2035 (for flexibles)[a]

  • Recycled plastic

    Use 25% recycled plastic in our packaging by 2025

  • Collection and processing

    Collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell by 2025

Building on our progress

By integrating our goals into our Business Group roadmaps and setting clear interim goals where possible, we’re building on our progress. And we will continue to use our innovation capabilities to find new solutions – with even greater focus.

But voluntary goals and initiatives can only go so far without the right infrastructure and rules in place. That’s why we’re calling for stronger, harmonised policy such as:

  1. A UN treaty on plastic pollution that sets legally binding global rules
  2. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes that hold businesses to account for their packaging choices
  3. Reuse policies that help create the right enabling environment for new models to scale
Laboratory in action

Our Climate Transition Action Plan

Our Climate Transition Action Plan, updated in 2024, sets out our actions to lower our emissions by 2030.

Climate Transition Action Plan cover
[a] (1,2)

This goal was updated in 2024. Please refer to our 2023 Annual Report and Accounts for details of our previous goal.

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