P&G reduces plastic in packaging redesign

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The Gillette Fusion ProGlide sports new packaging that contains less plastic.

CINCINNATI (Feb. 2, 12:45 p.m. ET) — Procter & Gamble Co. gave Gillette Fusion ProGlide’s packaging a “future friendly” facelift by reducing plastic and incorporating moldable pulp.

With 57 percent less plastic than the original clamshell outer packaging and razor tray, the redesign is made of fibrous materials such as bamboo, sugar cane and bulrush. The mixture is made into a liquid slurry and then molded into place, a technique the company said is “stretching the boundaries of what moldable pulp can do.”

The result is a 20 percent reduction in gross weight and overall reduction of packaging material, while the new design with­stands compression, sealing and opening forces, according to the company. “We were able to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging without compromising safe, effective delivery of the product,” said Damon Jones, global communications director for P&G’s grooming and shave care operations. “Given the packaging is primarily from renewable sources, we saw this as a step forward.”

The redesign fits into P&G’s 2020 sustainability goal to incorporate 100 percent renewable or recycled materials into every product and package. Previous efforts included reductions of plastic by 49 percent in the packaging for the M3 Power razor in 2004 and Gillette Fusion razor in 2006.

For the ProGlide package, Cincinnati-based P&G worked with Be Green Packaging LLC, a Santa Barbara, Calif., company that designs and makes compostable packaging.

Jones said P&G changed the package without significant added costs to consumers, but he did not detail any cost breakdowns. He added that the product’s packaging previously included a low level of PVC, which the redesign has eliminated.

“We take a design-led approach to environmental sustainability and are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations without compromising on the quality,” Jones said.

Unveiled in Western Europe in 2011 to positive consumer reaction, the new packaging will debut in North America in the first half of 2012.

P&G received commendations for its innovative redesign through DuPont Co.’s Awards for Packaging in 2011. In 2009, P&G was added to the Global 100, a list of the world’s most sustainable corporations compiled by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media, research and financial products company.