Today, Unilever announced the global launch of its most sustainable laundry capsule yet, the fastest growing detergent format in many parts of the world.
Unilever’s biggest laundry brand, Dirt Is Good (also known as Persil, Skip, OMO and Surf Excel), has introduced the newly designed capsule to help decarbonise the laundry process whilst delivering top cleaning performance. The new capsules are packaged in a plastic-free, cardboard container, a move set to prevent over 6,000 tonnes of plastic entering the waste stream every year, the equivalent in weight to 500 double-decker buses.
The specially designed formula contains biodegradable active ingredients that are 65% derived from plant sources and has been optimised to deliver top cleaning performance in cold and short cycles. The re-engineered capsule membrane is fully biodegradable and the fastest dissolving on the market, designed to leave no residue on laundry. The new capsule sees its carbon footprint reduced by 16% (vs. current capsules), and when used in cold, short cycles, consumers can save up to 60% energy per use.
The reduction in emissions across the products’ life cycle puts the new Unilever capsule at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise the laundry industry. This is an important step in reducing the Scope 3 GHG emissions of our laundry business, which includes those associated with consumers’ end use of our products, like the energy required to power washing machine.
For the first time ever, the laundry capsules will be packaged in a ground-breaking plastic-free cardboard box. The innovative box conceived in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, underwent years of development to lock out moisture better than current plastic packaging and prevent capsules from sticking to each other. The box is easier to open and close, is child-proof and fully recyclable. 50% of the cardboard comes from recycled sources and the rest from FSC-certified forests.
The new product, which will launch first in France before rolling out to other markets, is another example of Unilever’s Clean Future strategy. Announced in September 2020, the strategy aims to fundamentally change the way that some of the world’s best-known cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured and packaged, supported by a €1bn investment over 10 years.
Dr Keith Rutherford, Head of Global Innovation, Unilever Home Care R&D said: “Through our Clean Future programme, our ambition is to make sustainable cleaning the compelling choice for every consumer by bringing real innovation to established mass market products. The research, development, and manufacturing skill that is required shouldn’t be underestimated. The new proprietary formulation and child-proof cardboard packaging is the work of so many people. This is our best and most sustainable laundry capsule yet – it is truly industry leading.”
Ralf Mack, Director New Business Development, EU Consumer Products at Graphic Packaging International adds:
“Working together with Unilever, we are delighted to see our innovative packaging solution launch under this iconic brand around the world. Our combined expertise in carton design, product protection capabilities and understanding of consumer behaviour has enabled us to create this superior, plastic-free and child-proof solution, enabling consumers and businesses alike to reduce their use of single-use plastic.”