Dove takes a new approach to plastic packaging

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Andrey_A)
© Getty Images \ (Andrey_A)

Related tags refillable packaging recycled plastic plastic-free Plastic Packaging

The Unilever brand announced its new No | Better | Less Plastic framework recently and is moving forward with new beauty packaging initiatives that will remove over 20,000 metric tons of virgin plastic from the brand’s supply chain.

“At Dove…we are passionately committed to being one of the brands making the biggest impact against plastic waste,” ​says Marcela Melero, Dove global skin cleansing vice president, in a media release about the brand’s new plastic-packaging-reduction initiative.  

And she adds, “We know we're not perfect, but we can't afford to wait. We're working to have the biggest positive impact we can, as quickly as we can, and empowering others to do the same.”

Towards a circular economy

With the new No | Better | Less Plastic initiative, Dove wants to help create a circular plastic economy as an alternative to what the brand’s media release describes as the “linear, single-use consumption model.” ​To do so, the brand will focus on recycled and reusable packaging solutions.

Better Plastic is, according to the Dove initiative, recycled plastic. The brand will be launching 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles in North America and Europe (“where technically feasible”​) by the end of the year. And in the case of certain components, like caps and dispensing solutions, where existing packaging technologies don’t always allow for the use of PCR plastic, the brand will be seeking out new technologies and new options.

Dove is also at work on refillable, stainless steel deodorant packaging that is meant to limit waste. Once market ready, the brand’s minim deodorant line will be sold direct to consumer and be involved in the Loop platform.

Plastic-free beauty packaging

As part of Dove’s new packaging initiative the brand’s iconic beauty bar will be sold globally in plastic-free packaging starting in 2020. The plastic outer wrap, used to hold multipacks together, will be replaced with a zero-plastic material.

With this packaging update, “Dove is paving the way for the rest of the sector with industry-leading innovations – eliminating the use of plastics where possible by using alternative materials and new packaging formats,” ​according to the media release.

“At Dove, we are proud to have more than 100 initiatives ongoing around the world dedicated to tackling plastic waste,” ​notes Richard Slater, chief R&D officer at Unilever, in the company’s media release. (Read more about Unilever’s approach to more sustainable personal care packaging here on​.)

“But as one of the biggest beauty brands in the world,” ​he says, “we have a responsibility to accelerate our progress even further.”

“This announcement is an important step in our work to transform how we produce, use and dispose of plastic packaging,” ​says Slater. “By making this move, we aim to drive the global recycling industry to collect more waste plastic and make more recycled plastic available for use.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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