Consumer goods manufacturer Procter and Gamble (P&G) has committed to a 30% reduction in plastic packaging used by its Ariel and Lenor brands across Europe by 2025.
The commitment covers all P&G Fabric care products, is intended to save 15,000 tonnes of plastics compared to 2018 levels and is part of the Ariel brand ambition of saving 50% of resources by 2030, the company said.
Starting this summer, Ariel PODS washing tablets will be sold in bags as opposed to round tubs, saving 75% of packaging, according to P&G.
Procter and Gamble is also planning to make 100% of its packaging fully recyclable by 2022, up from the current 80%.
With regards to recycled content, P&G said it was working to drive up demand for recycled materials by increasing the recycled content of laundry detergent Ariel and fabric softener Lenor, which currently stands at up to 25% and 50% respectively.
Virginie Helias, chief sustainability officer at P&G, commented: “Our Ariel and Lenor brands are pioneering packaging reduction practices that will be critical to P&G achieving our commitment to reduce virgin plastics in packaging by 50% by 2030. This is one of many examples of P&G’s leadership brands innovating to inspire and enable responsible consumption.”
The move by P&G comes amid increasing public concern over plastic packaging waste and after the European Circular Economy Package last year placed new focus on extended producer responsibility (EPR) to ensure that producers placing products on the market contribute to the cost of treatment at the end of its life. The UK government launched a consultation on EPR in February 2019.
Last year, more than 40 businesses including Procter & Gamble signed up to a pact to tackle plastic pollution, known as the UK Plastics Pact and coordinated by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) (see story).
Marcus Gover, WRAP chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to see P&G make further commitments to tackling plastic packaging waste. Through “The UK Plastics Pact”, of which P&G is a founding member, we are working together with business, governments and citizens to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic – keeping it in the economy and out of the environment.”
To boost recycling, P&G said that its scientists were also working with the industry on developments such as PetCore Europe perforated sleeves for better recyclability.
Volker Kuhn, vice president of fabric care at P&G, said: “Removing 30% of plastics across Europe Fabric Care products is a bold move we want to deliver by 2025 at the latest. We are delighted that more and more consumers choose our Ariel PODS which is the most compacted detergent we are offering. PODS require less plastic packaging per wash while supplying the exact amount of detergent needed, thereby avoiding wastage and over-dosing.
“Addressing the plastics issue is everyone’s responsibility, and we’re determined to drive a step towards circularity, so that no plastic from our brands’ packaging finds its way into the oceans or landfill.”