Unilever is using new technology to create what it claims will be the world’s first paper-based laundry detergent bottle.
A prototype has been developed for laundry brand OMO, also known as Persil, Skip and Breeze, which is set to debut in Brazil by early 2022 and plans for the rollout in Europe and other countries soon after.
Unilever has used the technology to pack liquid products in paper-based bottles, which are made of sustainably-sourced pulp and designed to be recycled in the paper waste stream, with the patented pulp packaging having the potential to radically reduce the use of plastic.
The bottles are sprayed inside with a proprietary coating that repels water, enabling the paper-based packaging material to hold liquid products like laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioners, which contain surfactants, fragrances and other active ingredients.
The technology has been developed in partnership with the Pulpex consortium, a collaboration between Unilever, Diageo, Pilot Lite and other industry members.
Richard Slater, Unilever Chief R&D Officer said: “To tackle plastic waste, we need to completely rethink how we design and package products. 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.
“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.”