Unilever and Viridor sign recycled plastics agreement

Unilever and Viridor have agreed a five-year contract that will see Unilever receive a range of recycled plastics from Viridor’s Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre near Bristol, UK.

“Viridor and Unilever are committed to helping the UK achieve its recycling and sustainability targets and this contract demonstrates how we are translating that ambition in action,” said Keith Trower, Viridor’s resource management managing director.

“By putting more recycled plastic back into the economy and powering that process with non-recyclable waste, we are creating a sustainable solution and ensuring consumer brands, such as Unilever, have access to quality post-consumer recycled material,” Trower explained.

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

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

Viridor’s managing director Phil Piddington emphasised that reprocessed plastics uses 50 per cent less electricity than virgin plastics. “When we reduce our energy consumption further by tapping in to the low carbon power created through energy recovery, we can achieve even greater sustainability and environmental efficiency,” he said.

Viridor aims to put 60,000 tonnes of recycled plastics from bottles, pots, tubs and trays in PET, HDPE and PP flake and pellet form back into the economy every year as a viable and sustainable solution to virgin plastics.