The Procter & Gamble Company has announced it will more than double the amount of recycled plastic in its packaging for household cleaning brands in Europe by early 2020. P&G brands Fairy liquid dish detergent and Flash and Viakal surface cleaning products will increase the use of recycled plastic to nearly 10,000 tons of post-consumer resin (PCR) and post-industrial resin (PIR), replacing virgin plastic in the supply chain. According to P&G, this is equal to the amount of waste generated by 6.5 million Europeans per day.
In the U.K., Fairy is converting its bottles to 100% PCR in its most popular sizes. Flash and Viakal are converting to 100% recycled plastic in its white and transparent bottles and 50% PIR in all translucent bottles. In total, 300 million bottles across P&G’s European household cleaning brands will be converted annually to either 100% recycled or partially-recycled plastic. Additionally, all surface cleaning wipes will be made of 100% recycled fiber.
According to the company, this is a key milestone in helping to reach its Ambition 2030 commitment of reducing the amount of virgin plastic in all packaging by 50% by 2030. “We are proud of this significant milestone across our cleaning products, as we know with our immense scale we can create a positive impact,” notes Elvan Onal, P&G Vice President for Home Care products in Europe. “Our work in minimizing our footprint goes beyond just the bottle—through our Life Cycle Assessment [LCA], we look holistically at our impact from product design to transit to consumer use, all the way through to end of life to ensure we are responsible stewards of our resources from beginning to end.”
Through LCA findings, P&G learned that the biggest footprint reduction opportunity for home care cleaning products is during the consumer in-use phase, when high amounts of water may be used at home, and often at high temperatures. Therefore, P&G household cleaning product formulas have been optimized to work at low temperatures. According to the company, U.K. consumers wash dishes on average at 117°F; by using Fairy at lower temperatures, consumers can cut their carbon footprint by up to 50%. Similarly, 90% of U.K. consumers wash their floor with warm or hot water. Says P&G, Flash is designed to deliver “brilliant” cleaning at low temperatures, allowing consumers to save on energy.
“Based on our LCA, there is tremendous opportunity for us to build in sustainability through our product performance, saving consumers on energy and water,” continues Onal. “We want to delight our consumers instead of making consumers choose between an environmentally friendly product and one which has the performance they need and love. We welcome this challenge because we know if we make smarter products that work more efficiently, consumers can minimize compensating behaviors and in turn, lower their footprint.”