Under the contract, Shanks will manage all of Unilever’s waste across Belgium and the Netherlands.

Shanks will recycle up to 90% of the contract waste, helping Unilever to achieve its 2020 target of maintaining or reducing waste sent for disposal against a 2008 baseline, despite significantly growing manufacturing volumes.

This represents an 80% reduction in waste per tonne of production, and a 70% absolute reduction since 1995.

The contract will run for an initial three-year period and will involve Shanks handling up to 15,000 tonnes of commercial and organic waste per annum.

Office and other commercial waste will be processed through Shanks’ existing network of recycling facilities to recover recyclable materials including cardboard, paper and plastics.

Most of the organic waste will be treated through its Greenmills anaerobic digestion plant, near Amsterdam. Unilever’s waste margarine will be taken to Shanks’ partner Rotie where it will be converted in to bio-diesel.

Unilever’s sustainability programme manager, Rudi van der Arend, said: “Our plans to decouple growth from environmental impact, halving our environmental impact on a product level, means that reducing waste is one of our top priorities.”

Maxine Perella

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