Magnum PP tub
Unilever’s Magnum ice cream brand has begun using recycled-content polypropylene (PP) in its packaging.
Photo provided by Unilever.

Unilever ice cream brand opts for recycled-content plastic

Magnum brand ice cream will use recycled-content polypropylene in 7 million tubs.

August 13, 2020

Unilever ice cream brand Magnum says it is going to use more than 7 million ice cream tubs made with recycled plastic. Magnum conducted a pilot with the recycled-content polypropylene (PP) tubs in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands in 2019.

Europe-based Unilever says “the full roll out across all European countries is another exciting step toward a more sustainable future,” and that by end of 2020, Magnum will use an estimated 160,000 kilograms (more than 176 tons) of recycled-content plastic material.

“We are proud to be the world’s first ice cream brand to pioneer this ground-breaking technology”, says Julien Barraux, a vice president with Magnum. “Through this new approach, we hope to lead the food and refreshment industry towards a more sustainable future, paving the way to a circular economy.”

According to Unilever Corporate Relations Executive Phlippa Milner, “The certified circular polymer is used for more than 90 percent of the plastic in Magnum pints.” Adds Milner, “However, as this is certified on mass balance approach, we cannot guarantee the exact percentage of recycled plastic in each tub.”

The recycled-content resins are being supplied by the European operations of Saudi Arabia-based SABIC. “Magnum tubs display a great collaborative effort between Unilever and SABIC to create the world’s first recycled ice-cream packaging,” says Mark Vester, circular economy leader at SABIC. He calls the project “a true collaboration and innovation that drives positive change toward closing the loop on used plastics.”

Unilever says the move is part of its wider global packaging commitment to halve the company’s use of virgin plastic, including by accelerating its use of recycled plastic by 2025.