Procter & Gamble Co. plans to use more recycled plastic in more fabric care product packaging — in some cases going from zero to 50 percent — in a move that will impact hundreds of millions of containers.
And the company is reaching out to plastic recyclers around the world to push use even higher.
The decision will impact an expected 230 million high density polyethylene and PET bottles annually starting next year, the Cincinnati-based company said. Brands, primarily sold in Europe, such as Ariel, Dash, Lenor and Unstopables, all are covered by the increase.
The global consumer packaged goods giant already uses some recycled content in packaging for some of the impacted brands, but others will see recycled plastics for the very first time.
The push toward using more recycled plastics in the company's fabric care unit is part of a larger overall environmental effort by the company that also includes the announced end of phosphates in detergents.
“We're making huge steps in improving the sustainability of our products. We were already using PCR [post-consumer resin] in a number of our bottles and this increase we are going a step further,” the company said in an email response to questions.
“This increase alone will take Lenor bottles from 0 to 50 percent PCR, Unstopables will go from 35 percent PCR to 50 percent, and Ariel, Dash, Simply, Ace, Bold and others will go from 0 to 25 percent PCR composition,” the company said.
Gianni Siserani is group president of global fabric and home care for P&G, and he said in a statement that the company is looking for more recycled plastics suppliers around the world to provide more material.
“This will allow us to increase the amount of recycled plastic in more brands and geographies,” he said in the statement.
Accounting for the increase in recycled content, the company said it expects to use a total of 7.6 million pounds of recycled plastic in the 230 million bottles.
Brands covered under the latest announcement include the Unstopables line of products that are sold in both the United Kingdom and North America, where P&G said it has been using post-consumer content for more than a quarter century.
“In terms of the number of bottles currently containing PRC, we use PCR in many categories including laundry detergents, fabric softeners, hard surface cleaners, and others in North America and the bottles contain at least 25 percent PCR,” a P&G spokesman said in an email statement. “This has been the case for over 25 years. We are very excited to announce the increase in PCR use in North America as well as the expansion of PCR in Europe.”
P&G plans to roll out the increased recycled content in different markets as soon as possible rather than waiting for a unified introduction in every market at once. This will allow for the benefits of using recycled plastics to be realized as soon as possible, the company said.
The 230 million containers impacted by the additional recycled content, if laid end-to-end, would stretch from the North Pole to the South Pole, the company said.