Plastic packaging re-examined

We don’t like the fact that there’s a lot of plastic waste in the environment, some of it bearing our name. Plastic’s function in our business is being radically rethought.

Also Read: Plastic Recycling

Plastic is a very precious commodity. It aids us in providing secure and timely delivery of our items to customers. When compared to other materials, it has the lowest carbon footprint. Despite this, much too much plastic finds its way into our ecosystem. According to a global study, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean might triple by 2040. This must come to a close.

The way we think about products and packaging is evolving. The majority of the solutions we require are currently available, according to science, but we must repair the broken plastic system in order to protect our oceans and marine ecosystems. We need innovative ways for customers to have easy access to daily things that produce less trash. By collecting, processing, and reusing plastic in a circular loop system, we hope to keep it in use for as long as feasible.

We’ve set lofty objectives for ourselves, such as lowering our use of virgin plastic. increasing the use of recycled plastic, and only using reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging. We’re also assisting with infrastructure for data collection and processing.

The Covid-19 epidemic has created new obstacles in the fight against plastic pollution. These include the inability to test new materials with our suppliers and in our plants, as well as the closure of sorting and recycling centres in some areas. Recycled plastic is finding it more difficult to compete against lower-cost virgin materials as oil prices fall. Nonetheless, we are as devoted as ever to moving plastics to a circular economy.

On a daily basis, how much plastic do we consume?

We track our plastic packaging footprint in 26 countries, accounting for around 80% of our total revenue. We currently have valid data for about 80% of the sales volume in scope for plastic packaging reporting for the reporting period July 2019 to June 2020. Our current total plastic packaging footprint is 690,000 tonnes, based on this. We’ve decoupled our plastic packaging footprint from the volume of products we sell, so while there hasn’t been a big drop in the amount of plastic we use, there has been a consistent decrease in relative terms.

Less plastic is our philosophy and structure. Plastic that is better. There will be no plastic.

Everything we do is guided by this:

  • Using less plastic: reducing the amount of energy we consume in the first place
  • Plastic that is better: Using recycled materials and ensuring that our products are recyclable
  • No plastic is allowed: Using refill stations to eliminate the use of new plastic and replace it with alternative materials like paper, glass, or aluminium.

Plastic that is better

We make sure to use better solutions whenever we use plastic, such as recycled and recyclable plastics. According to our estimations, about half of our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable.

By purchasing post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, we are keeping plastics in the system and out of the environment. We’re increasing the amount of recycled plastic we use, and PCR now accounts for about 11% of our plastic footprint. This puts us on schedule to meet our goal of 25% by 2025.

In North America and Europe, for example, our Dove cosmetics brand employs 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. All bottles in our Love Beauty and Planet hair and skin care line are made entirely of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), and we’re aiming to incorporate it into bottle caps and pumps.

In our quest for better plastic, we’re up against a slew of technical obstacles. We’re experimenting with new methods of working, such as chemical recycling for the most difficult-to-recycle plastics, such as multi-layered and flexible packaging.

Recycled plastic packaging must also comply with the same technical and safety requirements as virgin plastic, which are greater for food packaging. Our Magnum ice cream brand collaborated with a vendor to overcome this obstacle and introduce recycled plastic ice cream tubs.

Suggested Read: Swachhbharat

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