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UBL holds session with Zaved Akhtar and university students


Average read time: 4 minutes

Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), the country’s leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, recently organised a special session titled ‘Navigating the Path to Plastic Sustainability with Zaved Akhtar’ at their corporate office in Dhaka as part of their World Environment Day 2023 campaign.

Group photo of Zaved Akhtar along with the UBL team and university students

The session, led by Zaved Akhtar, CEO and MD, Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) and attended by university students from different institutions across Bangladesh, including Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), Dhaka University (DU), North South University (NSU), Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST), Chittagong University (CU), Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET), Army Institute of Business Administration (AIBA), BRAC University and Institute of Business Administration-Jahangirnagar University (IBA-JU) representing various environmental clubs, was aimed to understand and address concerns regarding plastic pollution.

The session provided valuable learning outcomes for the attendees in the light of the World Environment Day campaign #BeatPlasticPollution and highlighted the important role students can play in advocating for a clean environment. Following the session, Zaved Akhtar participated in a question-and-answer session, providing students with a unique opportunity to directly engage with him and deepen their understanding of plastic sustainability.

Furthermore, Management Committee members of UBL engaged in interactions with the students to inspire dialogues on plastic sustainability and solidify UBL’s plastic commitments. The students also had the opportunity to experience the country's first ever refill machine, launched last year for dispensing liquid products to reduce plastic use, which allows anyone to refill a variety of Unilever liquid products at a discounted rate by bringing an empty container.

Plastic is a vital packaging material for consumers, offering affordability and convenience. Nevertheless, the escalating issue of plastic pollution necessitates its integration into a circular economy for a sustainable future. Since 2020, UBL has been working on diverse plastic waste management initiatives that started in Narayanganj and then gradually expanded to Dhaka and Chattogram.

Zaved Akhtar, CEO and MD, Unilever Bangladesh Limited, said, "At Unilever, we believe that the plastic we produce is our responsibility. Our journey towards plastic sustainability is guided by Unilever’s global framework—Less Plastic, Better Plastic and No Plastic. As a global company, Unilever has made firm commitments for 2025, including a 50% reduction in virgin plastic waste, a 25% increase in recycled plastic usage for packaging, collecting and processing more plastic than we sell, maintaining zero landfills, and ensuring that 100% of our packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

In our project in Chattogram, our awareness campaigns have reached over 1,000,000 individuals and positively impacted the lives of more than 2,000 waste workers. We collected over 8,000 tonnes of plastic waste since 2022, ensuring 100% recycling. These achievements demonstrate our dedication to sustainable practices aimed at creating a more circular economy and a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations. But we cannot do this alone.

It is evident that the excessive use of plastic by previous generations has transformed it from a blessing into a curse, impacting not only the current generation but also those yet to come. By equipping today's youth with knowledge and a deep understanding of this issue, we hold a collective hope that we can collaborate to bring about the necessary changes for a sustainable future.

Together, we can work towards finding innovative solutions and implementing responsible practices to mitigate the negative impact of plastic waste. It is through the empowerment of young minds and their active involvement that we can pave the way for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious society.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage with a multitude of young students who possess an unwavering determination to build a sustainable future. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the university students who dedicated their time and attended the session today."

UBL will continue to create awareness about the pressing issue of reducing plastic pollution in the future.

About Unilever Bangladesh Limited

Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) is the largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company with a heritage of 60 years, with more than 9 out of 10 households using one or more of its brands for their daily needs. With over 26 brands including Lux, Lifebuoy, Surf Excel, Closeup, Sunsilk, Ponds, Vaseline, Dove, and Pureit, the company is a part of the everyday life of millions of consumers across Bangladesh. About Unilever Bangladesh Limited

UBL is a subsidiary of Unilever, one the world’s leading suppliers of consumer-packaged goods in more than 190 countries. UBL’s purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace with a vision to grow the business, while reducing environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact.

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