• Unilever South Africa has introduced bottles made from 100% recycled plastic as well as being fully recyclable in its Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid product line as it seeks to reduce its environment footprint.

    The company said that the packaging is part of the firm’s efforts to ensure that all its plastic packaging will fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 while at the same time inspiring consumers to promote recycling and choosing more sustainably-focused products.

    Nobuhle Ngubane, Sunlight Brand Manager said: “As the number one selling dishwashing liquid in South Africa, we believe Sunlight has a responsibility to lead the agenda in sustainability.”

    According to the fast moving consumer goods firm, all its bottles in the Sunlight range are recyclable, with the 750ml and 400ml packs being the first to be made using 100% recycled plastic.

    The company has also unveiled plans of shifting all other packs across the portfolio to 100% recyclable while at the same time assuring consumers of consistent quality products.

    “Similarly, we’re working to make our refill packs recyclable. The packaging is currently being developed and will be trialled during the first half of this year.

    If successful, we’ll start rolling it out with the aim that all refill packs will be also recyclable by 2020,” the company said in a statement.

    As Luc-Olivier Marquet, EVP, Unilever South Africa, said: “Plastic to landfill is a major issue, especially in developing and emerging markets.

    South Africa is no exception, even worse than many others. Unilever, as market leader, has to take the lead to reduce our impact to the environment.

    While we are very proud to be the first globally to launch the 100% PCR [post-consumer resin] for Dishwashing Liquids, it is only a first step in the right direction. We need to work towards the goal of having all our bottles moving to 100% PCR.

    We also need to create a circular economy, which includes the collection and transformation of our used bottles.”

    Encouraging consumers in plastic waste reduction

    According to Plastics South Africa, in 2016 the country accumulated over 1.14 million tonnes of plastic waste, less than half of which was recycled.

    In bid to accelerate efforts towards a more circular economy, the firm launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in 2010 and later introduced more ambitious targets around plastic packaging in 2017.

    While commemorating the Global Recycling Day, Unilever through its Sunlight brand, also launched a new sustainability campaign in March this year dubbed as #SunlightPlayYourPart to encourage the public pledge and commit to recycling plastic.

    Unilever also enjoined the recently launched Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance aimed at improving plastic recycling infrastructure in  Sub-Saharan Africa.

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    About the author

    Divya Sagar

    Divya Sagar is Content Editor at CNT Expositions and Services and manages the content of its online website, Packaging 360, a comprehensive knowledge sharing platform. With a longstanding commitment to the site's content, she is credited with tracking and publishing news related to Packaging Industry. She also tracks market trends, key developments and market analysis reports.

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