Unilever is launching new washing capsules for its Persil brand that it says use a fully biodegradable membrane and are made from 25 percent renewable materials. In addition to the product, the overall packaging has also been redesigned. It does not use plastic and is made entirely of cardboard, half of whose fibers come from the waste paper cycle and half from FSC-certified virgin material. Unilever’s approach is commendable. It relies on systems thinking that includes product and total packaging. And it delivers “double scores” in terms of sustainability, because it optimizes both circular and climate impact at the same time.
Unilever is launching the new wash capsules in the new containers as part of its “Dirt Is Good” campaign. The launch will start in France and is expected to expand to other markets in the near future.
The wash capsule
- According to Unilever, the capsules feature a fully biodegradable membrane that encloses the detergent.
- According to the company, the membrane is made of 25 percent renewable materials.
- The new cardboard packaging does not use plastic.
- According to Unilever, half of the fibers used come from recycled paper and half from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- Additional added value, according to Unilever, is that the carton is easily accessible and child-resistant.
The environmental and climate benefits
- According to the company, the new wash capsules reduce greenhouse gases by 16 percent and
- and at the same time reduce the waste stream by 6,000 tons of plastic per year.
- The capsules have been optimized for short cycles and temperatures of 20 degrees or below. This reduces the product’s carbon footprint by 16 percent, according to Unilever.
- At the same time, customers are said to save up to 60 percent energy with each use.
- The capsule membrane is the fastest-dissolving membrane on the market, according to the company.
- The formula for the encapsulated detergent has also been optimized. It relies on biodegradable active ingredients, 65 percent of which come from plant sources.
- The carton is fully recyclable through the waste paper cycle.
Unilever’s action is a good and commendable step. One can only appreciate the systems thinking behind it. It sees and optimizes product and overall packaging as a unit. That is exactly the right approach.
In addition, Unilever’s initiative brings together circular thinking and climate protection instead of limiting itself to just one of the aspects.
These are exactly the double scores we need!