Better skin for Dove bottles

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

Breakthrough technology

The MuCell® Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding (EBM) was created in close collaboration with two of Unilever’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. It represents a breakthrough in bottle technology: 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. All packaging with this technology will remain 100% recyclable.

The technology will be deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range. With around 33 million Dove Body Wash bottles sold across Europe in 2013, this could lead to savings of up to 275 tonnes of plastic a year. A full roll-out across every Unilever product and packaging format could save up to 27,000 tonnes of plastic each year.

David Blanchard, Chief R&D Officer, says, “As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan we have set ourselves an ambitious goal to halve the waste associated with our products by 2020. This technology is not only contributing to our aim, it is living proof of how working differently can achieve great results.”

Innovative materials and design

As well as investing in new materials technologies, we believe innovative packaging design will also play an important role in minimising the environmental impact of our products.

We are continually looking for opportunities to redesign our packaging in such a way that we offer consumers products that will deliver additional benefits while reducing the impact on the environment.

A good example of this approach can be seen in our new ‘Compressed’ Deodorant products where we have taken the opportunity to redesign the packaging to reduce the environmental impact and, at the same time, offer consumers a more convenient product experience.

Working together, sharing success

Our investment in cutting-edge design techniques and breakthrough materials is a key factor in our continuous progress to cut the amount of packaging materials we use. But we cannot do this alone and will continue to collaborate with others.

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

David adds, “By working with our two partners, we’ve created a unique technology that will transform our portfolio. And by opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact. We very much hope that our peers in the industry will take advantage of this technology too and apply it to their products.”

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