HUL targets 100% plastic waste collection this year

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has announced that from 2021 onwards, it will collect and process more plastic packaging waste than it uses.

06 Mar 2021 | By WhatPackaging? Team

The company aims to enable the processing of over 1-lakh tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste

Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director, HUL, said, “Our vision is one where key stakeholders work together to ensure that plastic stays in the economy and out of the environment. As a responsible company, we are committed to playing our part. We believe that this is a collective responsibility, and each stakeholder needs to play an active role in managing plastic waste to fulfil the vision of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.”

The company aims to enable the processing of over 1-lakh tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste collected from all of the states and Union Territories. To facilitate this collection process, the FMCG major has partnered with organisations such as Saahas, CARPE, Recykal, Planet Savers, RaddiConnect, Geoycle and Ramky Enviro, among others. Through these partner organisations and with support from municipal corporations, the company claims that it has reached out to housing societies and commercial establishments to improve the collection of plastic waste.

In addition, HUL is also working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the international organisation Xynteo. These partnerships have enabled the company to set up material recovery facilities in Mumbai to demonstrate the feasibility of inclusive end-to-end waste management solutions.

Apart from this, the education department of Maharashtra, HUL and Xynteo have rolled out a digital school curriculum focused on the importance of segregation, collection and safe disposal of waste. The company claims that the programme reached nearly 1-lakh children in Maharashtra during its pilot last year and is currently being scaled across the state.

HUL claims that it has facilitated environmentally safe disposal of more than 1.2-lakh tonnes of post-consumer use plastic waste since 2018. “With HUL’s support, we have carried out disposal of large quantities of plastic waste since 2018 in a safe and environment-friendly manner. The partnership has also helped positively impact the lives of workers involved in waste collection. HUL has been the pioneer in implementing EPR in India and their support has helped our start-up grow and expand into new territories. This helped us to work towards our national ambition of Swachh Bharat,” said Natasha Zarine, CEO of Centre for Applied Research and People’s Engagement (CARPE).

Willem Uijen, executive director supply chain, HUL, explained, “This initiative is in line with the commitment we have made for a circular economy. We have taken a head start on implementing the proposed extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework for plastic waste management. HUL has also developed an ecosystem of partners enabling the collection and safe processing of plastic packaging waste. We have now scaled up our joint efforts to collect more plastic packaging waste than our total plastics footprint, four years ahead of what we previously thought was possible.”