Dove Body Wash bottle to contain 15% less plastic

Unilever has announced that its Dove Body Wash bottles will contain at least 15% less plastic as a result of a newly developed packaging technology.

The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company said it will use ‘MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding’ which will save it 275 tonnes of plastic a year.

The technology was created in close collaboration with two of Unilever’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion.

According to Unilever, the innovation represents a breakthrough in bottle technology. It uses gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall and reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.

Unilever said it intended to widen the availability of the technology and would be waiving specific exclusivity rights by January next year, “so that other manufacturers can start to use it across their brands and products”.

This is the second major packaging change for the FMCG giant this year. Earlier this year, Unilever announced that it was halving the size of its male deodorant brands to minimise its impact on the environment.

The FMCG giant is hoping that its packaging reductions will help it move towards two of the key targets in its Sustainable Living Plan: to halve the greenhouse gas impact of products across the lifecycle by 2020, and to halve the waste associated with the disposal of products by 2020.

Speaking about the new Dove Body Wash range, Unilever vice president for R&D packaging Paul Howells said: “We’re always on the search for new technologies that can help us achieve our ambition to build a more sustainable business and halve our environmental footprint, and working with our two partners, we’ve created a unique technology that will transform our portfolio.

“But there’s only so much that Unilever can achieve on our own; by opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact. We very much hope that our peers in the industry will take advantage of this technology too and apply it to their products.”

MuCell Extrusion president Mark Lindenfelzer said: “While consumers won’t see any difference in the bottles, the impact on the environment will be very real.

“We’re delighted to be part of this development and believe that it marks a real shift for manufacturers who want to behave responsibly.”

Unilever said that packaging made using the technology would remain 100% recyclable.

Liz Gyekye

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