Viridor and Unilever agree five-year contract for recycled plastic

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Unilever will receive recycled plastic from Viridor's Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre

Unilever has signed a five-year contract with Viridor to boost recycled content within its packaging in the UK.

The contract will see Unilever receive recycled plastic from Viridor’s £65 million Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre near Bristol.

In its first year, Viridor will provide Unilever with 60,000 tonnes of recycled plastic produced from the from 81,000 tonnes of feedstock it processes.

The waste management company claims its plastic recycling process uses 50% less electricity than producing virgin plastic.

Viridor’s plant is powered by non-recyclable waste converted at Viridor’s new £252 million Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility.

This facility will divert 320,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year and generate 282GWh of electricity - enough to power 77,000 homes.

Both Unilever and Viridor are founding members of the UK Plastics Pact and as such have committed to having an average of 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.

Sebastian Munden, UK and Ireland general manager for Unilever, said: “Limited availability of high-quality recycled content has remained a challenge and that’s why we’re so pleased that our collaboration with Viridor will bring extra capacity on-line in the UK.

“This will be essential towards creating a more circular market, as well as contributing to the UK Plastic Pact targets.

“We think that UK citizens will also be encouraged to recycle more if they can see their efforts being rewarded with more plastic going back into new bottles and not ending up in the environment.”

Unilever has committed to making all its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

By the same year, it has also pledged to halve its use of virgin plastic by reducing its absolute use by 100,000 tonnes and using more recycled plastic, and helping to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.

Viridor and Unilever have previous worked together with Nextek on detectable black plastic packaging for Unilever’s TRESemmé and Lynx brands, with trials carried out at Viridor’s Rochester Polymers Recycling Facility in Kent.


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