The scheme will cover 60,000 homes and will include margarine and ice cream tubs, and noodle pots. The pilot has been organised through WRAP who has commended the project.

Materials will be collected and sent for reprocessing by TOR2, the joint venture company owned by May Gurney (80%) and Torbay Council (20%) which took over responsibility for the council’s waste and recycling services in July.

Unilever’s global packaging sustainability director, Louis Lindenberg, called the scheme “a great example of our commitment in action” and said that sustainability “was at the heart of everything we do at Unilever”.

He added: “In the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, we made a global commitment to halve our environmental impact by 2020 across the life cycle of our products, incorporating a pledge to increase recycling in countries all around the world, including the UK.”

WRAP’s director of closed loop economy Marcus Gover said: “With this initiative Unilever and Torbay are demonstrating how non-bottle plastic packaging can be collected and recycled effectively into high quality, valuable resource streams.

“Our advice to local authorities is that they should only collect non-bottle plastics if they have access to the facilities to sort and reprocess them. This partnership is a good example of collections services being developed in harmony with reprocessing capacity to deliver quality recycling.”

Maxine Perella

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