Unilever is set to launch what it is calling the world’s first paper-based laundry detergent bottle, Packaging World announced. The developed prototype was made for the OMO brand (also known as Persil, Skip & Breeze) and will be released in Brazil in 2022.

The company is also developing paper-based haircare bottles to help reduce the company’s plastic waste footprint. In partnership with the Pulpex consortium, the company can now bottle liquid in the paper-based bottles, which are sourced from sustainably sourced pulp and can be recycled with paper waste.

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Pulpex Consortium is a collaboration between Diageo, Unilever, Pilot Lite, and other industry leaders focused on bringing paper solutions to plastic problems. Sprayed inside with a proprietary coating, the bottles can hold liquids like laundry detergent and shampoos, which are made of surfactants and fragrances.

Richard Slater, Unilever’s 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.”

Unilever’s other 2025 sustainability commitments include reducing its use of virgin plastic; taking more responsibility for the plastic it creates; ensuring that all of its plastic can be recycled, reused, or composted; and using more recycled plastic in packaging. The paper bottles and these commitments are a step in the right direction; however, Unilever is still currently responsible for around 690,000 metric tonnes of plastic every year. A 2020 report found that Unilever was responsible for 70,000 metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste every year in just six developing nations. Another report found that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Unilever were responsible for releasing around 4.6m tonnes of carbon dioxide through the burning plastic.

Sign this petition to demand that U.S. state governments force plastic-producing corporations to pay for the costs they’ve inflicted on our environment!

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Danish beer company Carlsberg announced a paper bottle in 2019 and other beverage companies like Pepsi have taken steps to reduce plastic in their bottling processes.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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