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Unilever's Tech Breakthrough To Keep Billions of Tonnes Of Plastic Waste Out Of Our Oceans

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Unilever, the multinational corporation behind brand names like Dove, Bru, and Kwality Wall’s, is attempting to fix some of the damage to the environment caused by its myriad products' plastic packaging as it clogs up landfills and oceans.

Billions of the company’s products are sold each year, most (if not all) of which are packaged in some type of plastic wrapping. When dumped into the earth, or our water, this could have seriously harmful effects on the environment, something the company is now trying to change.

Unilever has developed a new system called the CreaSolve Process that would help it reclaim all of this waste plastic, and reuse them to package new products that will eventually be sold. With a pilot plant opening in Indonesia as part of the testing process, the plan is about creating a circular recycle and reuse process that would not just benefit the environment, but reduce production expenditure as well. Indonesia alone is responsible for producing 64 million tonnes of waste every year, with 1.3 million tonnes of it eventually making its way to the ocean.

Unilever's ambitious goal is to move to 100 percent recycle plan, pledging to have all its plastic packaging be fully reusable by 2025. "Billions of sachets are used once and just thrown away, all over the world, ending up in landfill or in our waterways and ocean," chief R&D officer David Blanchard said in a press release. 

"We intend to make this tech open source and would hope to scale the technology with industry partners, so others – including our competitors – can use it." 

Dr Andreas Mäurer, the department head of plastic recycling at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, which helped developed the technology says the Indonesian plant is a proof-of-concept for the plan. “Our calculations indicate that we are able to recover six kilos of pure polymers with the same energy effort as the production of one kilo of virgin polymer,” he says.

This is a great move by a large conglomerate trying to positively impact the ecology, and the fact that it's open-sourcing and sharing the technology with its partners and competitors speaks volume about Unilever's moral obligations. Hopefully, more businesses and companies around the world will adopt a similar approach to save our planet and ecology from unnecessary damage, through the thoughtful use of technology.

Indiatimes.com

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