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Wednesday, 03 August 2022 14:15

Unilever and Proctor & Gamble's new laundry products designed to decarbonise fabric washing

Two companies, Unilever and P&G are attempting to make their cleaning products more sustainable by cutting carbon and plastic. Unilever claims to have launched its most sustainable laundry capsule to date. Through changes to format, formulation and packaging, the capsule has been specifically designed to decarbonise the laundry process across the life cycle. And P&G's brand Ariel has unveiled new cardboard packaging - an ECOCLIC® box which is FSC certified and made from recycled fibres.

UNILEVER: The capsule combines biodegradable active ingredients that are 65% derived from plant sources and a reengineered fast dissolving membrane for cold and short machine-washing cycles, reducing product greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 16%. The 100% plastic-free cardboard packaging from recycled and FSC sources is set to save 6,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

Unilever laundry capsuleUnilever's biggest laundry brand, sold as Persil, Skip, OMO or Surf Excel, depending on where you live, has engineered the new capsule facilitating the saving up to 60% on energy costs per use and helping consumers combat rising energy prices.

The company say that decarbonising laundry is a high priority, and the launch of the capsule fits in with the Home Care division's Clean Future strategy launched in September 2020, to change the way that its cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured and packaged, supported by a €1bn investment over 10 years.

The global rollout commences in France in September and will be closely followed by the UK and other European countries in early 2023.

The new box packaging was conceived in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, and underwent years of development to lock out moisture better than current plastic packaging and prevent capsules from sticking to each other. The box is easier to open and close, is child-proof and fully recyclable. 50% of the cardboard comes from recycled sources and the rest from FSC-certified forests.

Dr Keith Rutherford, Head of Global Innovation, Unilever Home Care R&D said: "Through our Clean Future programme, our ambition is to make sustainable cleaning the compelling choice for every consumer by bringing real innovation to established mass market products. The research, development, and manufacturing skill that is required shouldn't be underestimated. The new proprietary formulation and child-proof cardboard packaging is the work of so many people. This is our best and most sustainable laundry capsule yet – it is truly industry leading."

Ralf Mack, Director New Business Development, EU Consumer Products at Graphic Packaging International adds: "Working together with Unilever, we are delighted to see our innovative packaging solution launch under this iconic brand around the world. Our combined expertise in carton design, product protection capabilities and understanding of consumer behaviour has enabled us to create this superior, plastic-free and child-proof solution, enabling consumers and businesses alike to reduce their use of single-use plastic."

REDUCING PLASTIC - P&G's Ariel has unveiled new cardboard packaging for the UK market - an ECOCLIC® box which is FSC certified and made from recycled fibres.

Ariel ECOCLIC copyLaunched this month in major retailers across the country, the new cardboard packaging is fully recyclable to be easily added to a household paper waste collection. P&G point out that if all Ariel Pods® plastic tub users switched to the new cardboard ECOCLIC® box, it could save up to 6,500 tons of plastic a year in Europe. The ECOCLIC® box is made with 70%+ recycled fibres while Ariel Pods® are produced with zero manufacturing waste to landfill. This move is a step in Ariel's aim to reduce virgin plastic of the Fabric Care business by 30% in Europe by 2025.

Ariel's newly designed packaging is more ergonomic to use and has a loud 'one click' which lets customers know the packaging is closed after use to ensure children stay safe.

Speaking about the new cardboard packaging, Elvan Onal, Senior Vice President, Europe, Fabric Care P&G said: "This new cardboard packaging is one of Ariel's biggest innovations. We invested in rigorous research over 4 years to perfect it, putting consumer delight and satisfaction at the heart of our design while striving for a sustainable solution that would work for the many, not just for the few. We are really pleased that the hard work paid off and we are able to offer an inclusive packaging solution that reduces plastic while keeping the high standards of child safety. This, together with Ariel's superb cleaning power in cold water, marks a milestone in our journey to help lower the environmental footprint of every load."

The packaging change sits as part of Ariel's wider mission to reduce the carbon footprint of laundry. It launches alongside Ariel's cold wash campaign to encourage a switch to cold washing temperatures as nearly 60% of the laundry's carbon footprint comes from the in-use phase mainly due to heating the water. Ariel's PODS® are designed for stain removal and a brilliant clean even in cold water.

Alongside Ariel, the ECOCLIC® box will be available for Fairy Non-Bio, Bold and Daz brands.