The consumer products giant will help fund the recycling programme over two years as part of its “sustainable living plan”.
The MetalMatters initiative works with local authorities and their collection partners to boost metal packaging recycling by households via a communications campaign.
It is jointly funded by a partnership of recyclers and metal packaging producers, and is run by Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).
Unilever, which claims to run Europe’s largest aerosol factory, has previously partnered with the Aerofoil programme to expand collection systems to include aluminium foil, and aerosols.
Louis Lindenberg, global packaging sustainability director at Unilever, said: “One of our packaging goals set out in our Sustainable Living Plan is to work with partners in NGOs, government and industry to increase recycling by 5% by 2015 and 15% by 2020.
“This partnership takes us one step closer towards reaching this goal and demonstrates our continued efforts to help consumers reduce waste.
“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. We have been impressed by the early successes delivered by the MetalMatters programme, and realise that continued success depends on the involvement of brand-users of metal packaging. We look forward to making a positive contribution to MetalMatters’ continued success.”
Alupro executive director Rick Hindley, added: “Unilever’s backing for MetalMatters demonstrates that the programme is being seen as a best practice model within the industry, and is offering its partners an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to driving up recycling performance. The scale and potential of any programme is, of course, dependent on funding from key stakeholders; we welcome Unilever’s support and look forward to seeing MetalMatters continue to help householders recycle more at home.”
This year the MetalMatters programme has developed campaigns with 15 local authorities and waste partnerships in the UK.
Other funding partners include reprocessor Novelis, Tata Steel, Coca Cola, Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, British Aerosol Manufacturers Association, and the Beverage Can Makers Europe.