For Unilever, sustainable products equal faster sales

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In London, efforts by personal care giant Unilever to phase out plastics and ramp up use of bioplastics is finding traction with consumers concerned over waste in the environment, particularly oceans. In 2018, brands aligned with the company’s Sustainable Living Plan grew 46% faster than the rest of its portfolio.

“I’m convinced that we are going to move more as a society into some of those spaces around reduce and reuse, and [Unilever] will be at the forefront of doing that,” Richard Slater, chief research and development officer for Unilever, tells CNBC.

The company is using some bioplastics made from cornstarch and has partnered with the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance. The company is also “engaged with several bio-plastic suppliers,” according to a company spokesperson.