The consumer goods giant is the latest big name to sign up to the MetalMatters programme, an initiative set up by key stakeholders in the metal packaging industry to boost capture rates for kerbside-collected materials such as aluminium cans and foils.

Unilever, which runs Europe’s largest aerosol factory, has pledged an initial commitment for 24 months. Its support builds on a previous partnership with the Aerofoil programme, which has helped over 100 local authorities expand their collection systems to include aluminium foil and aerosols.

The move forms part of a wider sustainable packaging goal for the company, which is to work with partners in NGOs, government and industry to increase recycling by 5% by 2015 and 15% by 2020.

Unilever’s global packaging sustainability director Louis Lindenberg said that as a brand-user of metal packaging, it was important for the company to engage in such schemes.

“As a consumer business it is imperative to take the lead and support initiatives that aim to shift consumer attitudes and help increase the amount of materials recovered for recycling,” he said.

“This partnership takes us one step closer towards reaching this goal and demonstrates our continued efforts to help consumers reduce waste.”

The MetalMatters scheme is managed by Alupro and already involves a number of local authorities across the UK – the latest campaign rolled out in Portsmouth is the first benefit from Unilever funding.

So far this year the programme has developed campaigns with 15 local authorities and waste partnerships in the UK.

Maxine Perella

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