Global consumer product manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G) has confirmed that it is in discussions with a UK recycler over the supply of recycled HDPE for use in the production of detergent bottles.
The news comes after P&G yesterday (July 23) pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastics used in the packaging for its Fabric Care range, which includes brands such as Ariel, Dash and Lenor by around 3,800 tonnes per year.
The commitment is likely to be welcomed by supporters of plastics recycling, many of whom have argued that strong end markets for material are key to building a strong recycling sector.
While some of P&G’s UK-produced packaging for its Home Care brands, including Fairy, already use recycled PET – the manufacturer has revealed to letsrecycle.com that it is in talks with a UK supplier of rHDPE over supply of the material for use in the production of detergent bottles.
A spokesman for the company said: “We’re still in the process of finalising contracts with suppliers but are in close conversation with a UK-based recycled plastic supplier. With this in mind, it is likely we will source PCR [post consumer recyclate] for our HDPE detergent bottles from within the UK.“
According to P&G, yesterday’s pledge will see around 230 million bottles manufactured using recycled plastic material across its Fabric Care brands.
The first P&G Fabric Care bottles impacted by this announcement are expected to be on sale in retailers in the first half of 2016. However the pledge does not as yet cover any bottles manufactured in the UK.
Announcing the commitment, Gianni Ciserani, group president of Global Fabric and Home Care said: “At P&G, when it comes to sustainability, we believe that actions speak louder than words. The increase in post consumer recyclate in the packaging of our Fabric Care brands is a huge step in the right direction. We want to make it easier for consumers to choose sustainable brands whilst continuing to deliver superior product performance.”
He added: “I’d like to continue this momentum in the future by partnering with orgnisations that can provide recycled materials globally. This will allow us to increase the amount of recycled plastic in more brands and geographies. When it comes to recycling, everybody has a part of play. Join us on this journey to eliminate packaging waste everywhere.”
Many plastics recyclers will see backing from a global brand such as P&G as a timely intervention in the rHDPE market. In recent months some manufacturers have reportedly returned to using a greater proportion of virgin HDPE in products falls in oil prices have seen virgin polymers become more competitive with recycled plastics on price.