Explore the potential of unlocking the circular economy within the fast-moving consumer goods sector

Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company. Its product portfolio includes food, beverages, cleaning agents, and personal care products.

The goal of Unilever’s Strategic Partnership with the Foundation is to unlock the economic opportunities of the circular economy along the entire value chain. To contribute to the delivery of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan waste strategy commitments, the partnership will focus on optimising packaging and manufacturing material streams so that they become a source of value creation for the business and wider stakeholder community.

For consumer goods – such as food and for apparel and their packaging – which are short-lived and often transformed during use, the economic benefits of a circular design seem initially harder to capture. Yet, recovering part of the USD 2.6 trillion of material value lost each year is a huge opportunity for fast-moving consumer goods companies and Unilever will prove to be an important pathfinder within the industry.

Focus Areas

Unilever is working closely with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation across three focus areas:

  • Development of pilot projects to develop Fast Moving Circular Goods
  • Development of assets and resources required to scale change across the business
  • Collaboration with industry stakeholders in order to catalyse systemic change towards circular flows of plastic packaging materials (as part of Project MainStream)


Unilever is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy initiative, which works to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging.

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