Unilever rolls out major refills trial

This week sees the launch of a series of refill initiatives at Unilever, as part of the company's commitment to halving its use of virgin plastic by reducing its absolute use and ensuring it is all fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

It is Unilever's biggest refill and reuse trial in Europe, and is being rolled out across seven of its brands with partner store, Asda.

The three different refill models trialled inside the store are: touch-free refill machines (from which liquid will be dispensed in reusable aluminium or stainless steel bottles); in-home refills and self-serve containers.

Further, bottles provided for the refill machines have a unique QR code, enabling full traceability of each bottle to help Unilever to track the full buy, use, refill process and gain better insight into the circular model.

Sebastian Munden, executive vice-president of Unilever UK & Ireland said: “I am very excited by the potential to test and learn from this fantastic partnership with Asda. It's a great opportunity for us to find out, across seven of our leading brands, just how shoppers respond to using refillable and reusable packaging in-store. We are all committed to driving lasting change when it comes to plastic, but to do so we must create scalable solutions and make it as easy as possible for people to make sustainable choices.

"On our journey to halving our use of virgin plastic by 2025 we will have to be bold and totally rethink products and packaging, and we will only do that by testing a range of solutions with shoppers in real-life conditions."

The trial is part of the company's #GetPlasticWise campaign, their five-point plastic plan to accelerate progress towards its global 2025 plastic targets.

Plastic waste is the top global environmental concern for shoppers in Great Britain, according to a Kantar report from June this year, with 60% of shoppers saying they will use a refill if it is available.

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