Hellmann’s makes new packaging commitments

The mayonnaise brand will use 100% recycled plastic for its bottles and jars, part of Unilever's global sustainability efforts.

Hellmann’s Canada has announced new packaging commitments as parent Unilever strives to make all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The mayonnaise brand has committed to using 100% recycled plastic for its mayonnaise bottles and jars by March of this year, a change it projects could save one million kilograms of virgin plastic (plastic created from raw materials that have not previously been processed) this year alone.

“Canadians want to do what’s right, seeking out products and brands that prioritize the planet,” said Gary Wade, president of Unilever Canada, in a release. “By transitioning our bottles and jars to ones made with 100% recycled plastic, Hellmann’s is helping make sustainable choices more accessible, while continuing to deliver the great taste Canadians know and love.”

The company has already begun rolling out bottles and jars made from post-consumer recycled plastic – meaning plastic that has been cleaned and reprocessed for packaging, and which has a slightly darker tint – in stores. In the release, Hellmann’s noted that such plastic has a lower carbon footprint and is less dependent on non-renewable natural resources, such as crude oil, for production.

The announcement comes as Unilever works to make all its plastic packaging across its brands reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 as part of its “Sustainable Living Plan.” At a global level, those commitments include helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being by this year and cutting the broader environmental footprint of its products by half come 2030.

The global company first committed, in October last year, to halving its use of plastics across its portfolio come 2025, with the ultimate goal of moving towards a more circular economy. Its portfolio includes Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Lipton, Seventh Generation, Vaseline and many other brands.

In recent year, Unilever has been leaning more heavily on its purpose-driven brands to deliver business growth. In 2018, it noted that 28 of its “Sustainable Living Brands” – those it describes as having “a strong environmental or social purpose,” including Dove, Knorr, Lipton and Hellmann’s – grew 69% faster than the rest of its business, up from 46% faster in 2017.