Unilever has set a goal of having all its plastic packaging “fully reusable, recyclable or compostable” by 2025.

The Flora spreads owner had already committed to increase its use of recycled plastic content in packaging to at least 25% by the same year. It had also pledged to reduce the weight of the packaging it uses by one-third by 2020.

“Our plastic packaging plays a critical role in making our products appealing, safe and enjoyable for our consumers,” Unilever CEO Paul Polman said. “Yet it is clear that if we want to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material, we need to do much more as an industry to help ensure it is managed responsibly and efficiently post-consumer use.”

Polman said he hoped Unilever’s pledge would “encourage others in the industry to make collective progress” towards using plastic packaging that is “fully recyclable and recycled”.

He added: “To address the challenge of ocean plastic waste we need to work on systemic solutions – ones that stop plastics entering our waterways in the first place. We also need to work in partnership with governments and other stakeholders to support the development and scaling up of collection and reprocessing infrastructure which is so critical in the transition towards a circular economy. Ultimately, we want all of the industry’s plastic packaging to be fully circular.”