Turn Post-Consumer Plastics into High Quality Post-Consumer Recycled Resin for Packaging Bottles for the First Time
Unilever and SCG announced a collaboration to develop and replace Unilever’s HDPE packaging bottles (gallon bottles, fabric detergent bottles, shampoo and conditioner bottles) with recycled HDPE bottles (rHDPE) for the first time in Thailand. The post-consumer plastics will be recycled into new packaging bottles with high quality post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) innovation, under SCG Green PolymerTM brand, fostering United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fulfill the needs of consumers who care about the environment. The collaboration, shared vision and the environmental friendly operation will certainly bring Thailand to achieve Circular Economy in Actions, creating new approach in packaging industry, encouraging consumers to sort used plastics to return to the recycling system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and building a sustainable environment.
In Thailand, only 500,000 tonnes out of over 2,000,000 tonnes of total wastes go to recycling system, and a majority is still mismanaged. In conjunction with the COVID-19 situation, plastic packaging waste has increased significantly. Managing waste at the source is thus critical to recirculating materials in the economy and out from devastating the environment.
Unilever and SCG’s collaboration has important goals: Reduce the use of virgin plastic resin in Unilever’s packaging while increasing the use of high quality post-consumer recycled resin (PCR). This includes ensuring that the packaging can be recycled and collect back for recycling. This increases the demand for HDPE waste to facilitate sorting at the source and return back to the system.
Mr. Robert Candelino, Group Executive Chairman Unilever Thailand said “Throughout the 88 years Unilever has served Thai people with quality products in every home. Our goal is to make sustainable living commonplace by impacting change to the people and planet at scale. This includes transforming waste management from source to reduce the plastic waste issue in Thailand and create a system that will enable endless waste recycling. Unilever announced, in 2018, our plastics commitment that by 2025, we will
- Reduce our use of new plastic resins by half or 100,000 tonnes globally
- Our packaging must be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
- Collect back more of our packaging than we sell
Unilever has been the pioneer of plastic packaging revolution, replacing every Sunlight PET bottle with recycled PET bottles. This collaboration between Unilever and SCG involves the introduction of turning post-consumed HDPE bottles into Thailand’s first high quality post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) through the recycling process, starting with HDPE packaging from leading brands like Sunlight (gallon bottles), Comfort, Dove, Sunsilk, Clear, Tresemme, followed by many other brands. Unilever will completely switch from use of virgin plastic resin to high quality PCR, which will be used to produce recycled HDPE bottles. This is the heart of our sustainability work in Thailand, to enhance the livelihoods and reduce environmental impact for our people and planet, to improve the lives of 68 million Thai people and to express our appreciation for welcoming us into your home for the past 88 years. With this bond, we promise that we will look after our people and Thailand as it is our home”
Mr. Tanawong Areeratchakul, President of Chemicals Business, SCG, revealed that Chemicals business, SCG works toward “Chemicals Business for Sustainability”, fostering ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The circular economy roadmap encompassing four main areas throughout the supply chain:
- Design for Recyclability and Reduce Material Use
- Post-Consumer Recycled Resin (PCR)
- Advanced Recycling Process
SCG is fully equipped to deliver the sustainable growth whilst also help improve the society and the environment.
“With our expertise, Chemicals business, SCG has developed high quality recycled HDPE resin formula under SCG Green PolymerTM brand, to fulfill the needs of both brand owners and consumers who care about the environment. The collaboration will create new approach in packaging industry of consumer products as this is the first time in Thailand that post-consumed plastics are recycled into high quality PCR for producing Unilever’s HDPE packaging bottles. Chemicals business, SCG has evolved to be able to allow higher proportion of PCR blending in the product while maintaining the efficiency to meet customer requirements.
“A partnership with Unilever, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and owners of consumer goods brands will contribute to the development of a more concrete Circular Economy in Thailand by reducing resource consumption, increasing recycling rate in Thailand, creating a positive impact on the environment and taking steps to lessen impacts on global warming.
Furthermore, Unilever is collaborating with SCG on the “Plastic Sorting for the Better” (Yak Dee Mee Tae Dai) project at the waste bank in Muang Mai Bang Bua Thong municipal. Members are encouraged to separate used plastic packaging. For example; translucent and opaque HDPE packaging, and white HDPE packaging bottles such as milk bottles or dishwashing liquid bottles, which will go into the recycling process, and multilayer packaging such as fabric softener bags or refill packaging bags which will be brought to SCG’s Advanced Recycling Process, recycling into recycled feedstock which are raw materials to produce plastic. Every 1 kilogram of collected used plastic can be redeemed for one Unilever product, with a goal of collecting 6,000 kilograms of used plastic packaging in 60 days. The project will be officially launched on World Environment Day, 5 June 2021. This is to create incentives for people in the community to properly manage waste, understand how to sort plastics, develop a more effective recycling management system. The community will in turn learn about the worth of used plastics that can be circulated into new resources in a sustainable manner.