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Photography Troy Mayne

Unilever’s gift to the planet is new sustainable packaging

TextAmanda Ng

Because single-use plastic is not cool...

On Wednesday, Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever announced at World Economic Forum in Switzerland that it was going to trial their new stainless steel and glass containers across nine of its brands.  The commercially available recyclable packaging system will be tested online on Loop, a revolutionary e-commerce platform taking a new approach to waste management. Loop’s service brings an array of internationally recognised companies under one umbrella, including PepsiCo and Nestlé. Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever said: “We’re proud to be a founding partner of Loop.”

This is a ground-breaking step for the consumer giant who by 2018 promised to disclose all information of fragrance ingredients, and holds the mantra: “make sustainable living commonplace”. The 2.5 billion people who use Unilever’s products will now have the opportunity to become part of an innovative green movement through a service that will directly deliver, return and refill consumer goods for resale. Jope believes they are taking, “big steps towards designing our products for re-use.” Visually, they look pretty slick.

The first brands to test Unilever’s sustainable containers will be popular household names like Dove, Sure, Lynx and Minim. This initiative will make sure that products like Minim’s deodorant stick, for example, can be refilled at least 100 times (that's a whopping lifespan of eight years).

Other companies which will receive Unilever’s reusable containers include Hellmann’s, Seventh Generation, Love Home & Planet, REN Clean Skincare, and Love Beauty & Planet. What’s more, Unilever’s Oral care brand Signal has just released eco-friendly toothpaste called “Tooth Tabs” to reduce water waste. All you need are these tablets and a toothbrush to clean your teeth.

This news comes after brands such as Bleach London and Lush have announced their own eco-friendly packaging schemes. With single-use plastic such an environmental hazard, we hope this is just the beginning.

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