Unilever has launched a prototype of a new paper-baed laundry detergent bottle, which it is set to debut in Brazil next year ahead of a rollout in other markets.
The bottle, for the group's Omo brand (also known as Persil, Skip and Breeze in other markets), has been developed in partnership with the Pulpex consortium, which is a collaboration between Unilever, Diageo, Pilot Lite and other industry members.
The bottle is made from sustainably-sourced pulp, Unilever said, and is sprayed inside with a proprietary coating that repels water, making it suitable to carry liquids. It is designed to be recycled in the normal paper waste stream.
Unilever said that it is also seeking to pilot the same technology to create paper-based hair care bottles.
Rethinking Packaging At Unilever
“To tackle plastic waste, we need to completely rethink how we design and package products," commented Richard Slater, Unilever chief R&D Officer. "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."
Unilever said that the process to create a recyclable, paper-based packaging solution without the use of additional plastic layers has been a 'huge challenge', but the Pulpex offering provides a 'promising solution'.
“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," Slater added.