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Unilever packaging praised by recyclers

Unilever has been praised for the recyclability of one of its leading brands – the Cremissimo ice cream packaging – and been awarded a ‘Made for Recycling’ seal of approval.

The accolade was established by Interseroh, part of the Alba group, in partnership with the German bifa environmental institute, who came up with a set of criteria for recycling with a maximum of 20 possible points. Only products achieving 18 points or more achieve the title:  Cremissimo was awarded 19 points.

The ice cream packaging is made from 100% polyolefins without the usual product protection barriers which frequently making recycling harder. According to the assessment, Unilever’s packaging provides optimum product protection without such barriers and is also reusable for the storage of other food products.

On the right track

‘Climate and resource protection are our daily responsibility,’ says Susanne Lutkat, category business team leader, dessert and tea at Unilever, a leading international manufacturer of consumer goods. ‘This means we are working on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions every day. The Made for Recycling seal from Interseroh provides us with great confirmation that we’re on the right track.

‘In addition to the reduction of new plastic during the manufacturing of packaging, our top priority is to increase its recycling capability, and – where possible – to work with mono materials,’ she adds.

Markus Müller-Drexel, managing director of Interseroh, says the ‘Made for Recycling’ service provides businesses with tangible opportunities for successfully reconciling the increased requirements in terms of product protection and closed-loop circulation. ‘Simple changes also have a positive impact on the recycling capability of packaging,’ he adds.

How ‘Made for Recycling’ works

There is a three-stage points system. In the first stage, it is determined whether the consumer can assign the packaging to the right collection system without any problems. In the second stage, how the packaging performs during the sorting is assessed. In the third stage, an evaluation takes place as to how suitable the packaging is for recycling, or whether labels, colours or barriers make the recycling process more difficult.

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