20 November 2020 by Robyn White

Garnier launches shampoo bars to cut plastic

L’Oréal’s Garnier brand has announced that it has today (20 November) launched a range of shampoo bars in the UK to offer consumers alternatives to liquid shampoo products in plastic bottles.

The bars will be sold in Boots from today

Garnier says the initiative is the first such move by a major mass market beauty brand, and that the bars have 80% less packaging and use 70% less fossil energy for transportation compared to a conventional shampoo bottle.

The company added that it hopes the bars will help reduce the number of shampoo bottles “thrown away” in the UK each year, which it says currently stands at 520 million.

The shampoo bars will retail in Boots for £7.99 from today, and the company says they are packaged in 100% recyclable FSC certified cardboard, blended with 94% plant-based ingredients and are 97% biodegradable.

The company added that it’s scientists have spent the last 18 months developing the solid shampoo format, evaluating more than 60 formulas “to arrive at a blend which replicates the wash experience of a liquid shampoo”.

Plastics tax

Garnier says its Ultimate Blends bottles will be made from 100% recycled plastic by 2021 (Picture: Shutterstock)

The initiative launched a week after HMRC published a response to the draft legislation and a policy paper on the plastics packaging tax, which is set to take effect from April 2022.

This outlines that there will be a £200 per tonne tax rate for packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic.

Garnier says its flagship Ultimate Blends shampoo and conditioner bottles are already 100% recyclable and will be made from 100% recycled plastic by 2021, and would therefore be exempt from the tax.

Producing 1.8 billion health & beauty products each year worldwide, the company said it hopes its “considerable reach will lead to more widespread consumer awareness of the sustainable choices now available”.

‘Accessible to all’

Aurelie Weinling, Garnier’s international scientific and sustainability director, said: “We truly believe sustainability needs to be accessible to all and we think products like this have the wider potential to influence and trigger other shifts in behaviour – small changes, big collective impact.”

According to new research gathered from over 2000 UK consumers earlier this month in the UK, 31% of people have been more interested in being environmentally friendly this year, whilst 81% of us think about our actions towards living a more sustainable, eco-positive life at least once a day.”

“Sustainability needs to be accessible to all” – Aurelie Weinling, Garnier

“However, when it comes to our shopping habits and what we buy, we find it a struggle to switch up our behaviour. One in 10 of us say switching to environmentally friendly brands can be the most difficult environmentally friendly change to adopt, while 44% of us do not find it easy to source environmentally friendly products.

“The confusion may also be stopping many of us from making simple changes to the things we buy. Almost three quarters (73%) of people believe these products are more expensive, and 43% think they will have to compromise on how well a product works if they opt for the eco-friendly version of it. Despite these concerns over accessibility and price, almost a quarter (24%) of us say we would consider swapping out our current beauty products to ones that had no plastic footprint if we had the opportunity to do so.”

Garnier’s global brand President, Adrien Koskas, added: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of Garnier; producing more natural formulas, using sustainable and fair-trade ingredients, even being the first to bring certified organic products to the mass skincare market. We want to lead by example and do everything we can to make a more positive impact on the planet. Today’s launch is a major part of the Green Beauty programme we announced earlier this year and a significant step toward meeting our suitably ambitious 2


It is interesting to note that within their own research “Almost three quarters (73%) of people believe these products are more expensive…”
So why price these bars at £7.99 for a 60g product when the plastic bottle version is retailed at only £3.99 for 6x that quantity? If they are true to their word that they wish to lead by example and make a positive impact, then price the “greener option” in line with existing products. The customer will then be able to choose by their own values, not just by their wallet.

Posted by samantha kenyon on November 24, 2020

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