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Less plastic’s fantastic for Unilever’s Dove

Dove Body Wash bottles will contain a minimum 15% less plastic as a result of a newly developed packaging technology launched by Unilever.

The Anglo Dutch toiletries giant intends to widen the availability of this technology to be used more broadly across the industry. The new technology represents another contribution to the target set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to halve its waste footprint by 2020.

The MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding (EBM) was created in collaboration with two of Unilever’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. By using gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, it reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.

The technology will be deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, before rolling the technology out. With up to 33 million Dove Body Wash bottles sold across Europe in 2013, the new technology stands to save up to 275 tonnes of plastic a year; whereas a full roll-out across every Unilever product and packaging format could save up to 27,000 tonnes of plastic.

Unilever will waive specific exclusivity rights by January 2015 so that other manufacturers can start to use the technology across their brands and products.

On 28 April 2014, the Unilever Sustainable Living Report 2013 will be published, and will confirm that Unilever’s total footprint from packaging waste to landfill has reduced (-11%) as a result of efficient pack designs and the disposal of sauce brands with large waste footprints.

Europe | Waste management

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