Using new technology, Unilever has introduced the first-ever paper-based laundry detergent bottle. A prototype has been developed for leading laundry brand OMO (also known as Persil, Skip, and Breeze) and is set to debut in Brazil by early 2022, with an ambition for rollout in Europe and other countries soon after. Unilever is also piloting the same technology to create paper-based haircare bottles.
This groundbreaking technology has been developed in partnership with the Pulpex consortium, a collaboration between Unilever, Diageo, Pilot Lite, and other industry members. The technology allows the ability to package liquid products in first-of-its-kind paper-based bottles, made of sustainably sourced pulp and designed to be recycled in the paper waste stream. Creating recyclable, paper-based packaging without additional plastic layers is a huge challenge.
The bottles are sprayed inside with a proprietary coating that repels water, enabling the paper-based packaging material to hold liquid products like laundry detergent, shampoo, and conditioners, which contain surfactants, fragrances, and other active ingredients. Pulpex’s patented pulp packaging provides a promising solution to radically reduce the use of plastic and will help Unilever achieve its commitments to a waste-free world.
“To tackle plastic waste, we need to completely rethink how we design and package products. This requires a drastic change that can only be achieved through industry-wide collaboration. Pulpex paper-based bottle technology is an exciting step in the right direction, and we are delighted to be working together to trial this innovation for our products," said Richard Slater, Unilever Chief R&D Officer. “Innovating with alternative materials is a key part of our sustainable packaging strategy and will play an important role in our commitment to halve our use of virgin plastic materials by 2025.”
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of products on the planet and are making purchasing choices based on sustainability factors, including packaging. Delivering functionally superior products that address environmental issues that people care about, such as innovative sustainable packaging announced, will make Unilever a stronger, more successful business.
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