Analyze how Unilever deals with European law in the area of packaging and product liability.
Packaging serves many purposes. It protects products, keeping them safe from contamination. It allows Unilever to display vital information about how to use and dispose of goods safely – a legal requirement for some products – and to communicate product benefits in a way that is appealing to their consumers. Packaging also offers convenience and portion control to match the needs of different consumers. Good packaging design leads to less product waste during transportation and helps consumers use products efficiently. Governments and campaigning organizations are increasingly alert to what they see as unnecessary packaging. This has led to commitments by some leading retailers and manufacturers to reduce the packaging of the products they produce and sell, and the materials used in transporting them. This all goes according to directive 94/62 EC which states: ‘Whereas the differing national measures concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste should be harmonized in order, on the one hand, to prevent any impact thereof on the environment or to reduce such impact, thus providing a high level of environmental protection, and, on the other hand, to ensure the functioning of the internal market and to avoid obstacles to trade and distortion and restriction of competition within the Community’ Unilever takes a holistic approach to sustainable packaging, which means looking at reducing all these different types of waste. The targets set in Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan will require them to take the following steps to reduce our packaging and waste impact: * Reduce the quantity of packaging we require for our products. We will adopt leading-edge design techniques and choose materials to minimise impacts * Find more ways to enable our consumers to reuse product packaging, for example through the development of refill packs * Work on increasing the use of recycled and renewable materials in our packaging as well as making our products as recyclable as possible. This will require us to work with others through advocacy and partnership to strengthen the recycling * Continue to reduce waste from our manufacturing process * Tackle sachet waste in developing and emerging markets
* Eliminate particular materials of concern such as PVC.
We found some information about how Unilever deals with product liability on their site; ‘Under no circumstances shall Unilever be liable for any damages or injury, including any direct, special, incidental, consequential, punitive or other damages, that may result from the use of, or the inability to use, the web site or any materials in this site, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the website or information available in the web site. Unilever shall not be liable even if Unilever or a Unilever authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. These include but are not limited to damages or injury caused by error, omission, interruption, defect, failure of performance, delay in operation or transmission, line failure or computer virus, worm, trojan horse or other harmful component’
Explain how European law has influenced Unilever’s new vision (November 2009). Explain the role of ‘Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste’ in the development and introduction of new sustainable product packaging for ice cream.
In November 2009 Unilever realized that the world is changing and that if they want to keep achieving their growth objectives they must reduce the total environmental impact of their business. According to article 6 from directive 94/62: ‘No later than five years from the date by which this Directive must be implemented in national law, between 50 % as a minimum and 65 % as a maximum by weight of the packaging waste...
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