Kleenex debuts plastic-free tissue boxes as Mr Muscle unveils 100% ‘ocean-bound’ plastic bottle

Images: Kimberly-Clark/ SC Johnson

The move from Kleenex will mitigate the use of 82 tonnes of plastic within a 12-month period, Kimberly-Clark claims, while also boosting recycling rates for the cardboard portion of the packaging.

Changes to packaging will be made across the brand’s premium, balsam and ultra-soft ranges, with a full roll-out of plastic-free alternatives due to be completed in August 2020.

Kleenex is notably a member of WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact. The Pact binds signatories to eliminate “problematic” and unnecessary single-use plastic, like the flexible plastic sleeves used on tissue boxes, by 2025. Kleenex has, more broadly, pledged to reduce its use of virgin fossil-based plastic by half by 2025.

Pact signatories are also required to make all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; achieve recycling and composting rates of 70% or more for packaging, and include 30% recycled content across all packaging. 

Parent company Kimberly-Clark, which also owns Andrex and Huggies, spoke to edie last year about how it is driving progress against each of the Pact’s requirements and what its plans for revamping its own resource targets are. You can read that interview in full here.

Sea change

In related news, SC Johnson has this week launched a Mr Muscle bottle made entirely from plastic classified as “ocean-bound”.

Plastic used to produce the new bottles has been sourced via Plastic Bank, a social enterprise which works to remove plastic pollution from land and water while also creating incomes for those living in poverty. It has been sent to SC Johnson from Plastic Bank’s operations in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and the Philippines.

The innovative bottles are being used to house Mr Muscle Platinum Window and Glass cleaner sold within the UK and Ireland. SC Johnson claims that no other liquid cleaning products sold in the national market are currently housed in packaging made from 100% ocean-bound plastics.

In a bid to reduce further plastic pollution at the end-of-life stage, the bottles are classed as widely recyclable. They were made available to purchase at Wilko and Amazon UK this week and will be made available at other retailers in the coming months.

The launch of the bottles comes after SC Johnson unveiled an ocean plastic Windex bottle for its North American domestic market.

The company is a key partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, through the charity’s New Plastics Economy Commitment, along with Nike, Unilever, Google and H&M. The aim of the Commitment is to create a “new normal” for plastic packaging by eliminating single-use packaging materials, increasing the amount of reused or recycled plastics in new products and innovating to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025. As of September 2019, 94% of SC Johnson’s global plastic packaging portfolio was classed as recycle, reusable or compostable.

As for Plastic Bank, the social enterprise is also working with the likes of Henkel and Eat Natural. 

Sarah George

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