Unilever gets Bold!Rethinks Products & Packaging

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With concerns over plastic waste remaining high globally and plastic waste being the top global environmental concern, Unilever makes a bold move.

The three different refill models trialled inside the store are:

Touch-free Refill Machines ( developed by Beauty Kitchen) for  Personal Care brands Radox shower gel, Simple liquid handwash and Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner. Persil laundry liquid will be dispensed in reusable aluminium or stainless steel bottles via three machines using the Return, Refill, Repeat basis. First-time shoppers will be provided with a bottle whilst returning shoppers will reuse their existing bottle. Once filled, shoppers add their printed label to the bottle and take it to checkout as usual. Each bottle has a unique QR code, a feature which will enable full traceability of each bottle allowing Unilever to track the full buy, use, refill process and gain better insight into the circular model.

In-home refills: Cif eco refills offer an in-home refill experience and the store will provide shoppers with an entire bay dedicated to the ten times concentrated refill for sprays which allow you to use a Cif spray bottle for life. Eco refills use 75% less plastic than the standard cleaning bottle and mean 87% fewer trucks on the road.

Self-serve containers: Unilever tea brands PG Tips and Pukka will be available through self-serve containers or ‘hoppers’ for loose tea and tongs to self-dispense fully biodegradable teabags. Shoppers will be able to take their own reusable container into the store or buy one there. Once their container is full, they take it to the weighing station where a label is printed ready for payment at the checkout.

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Sebastian Munden, Executive Vice President of Unilever UK & Ireland said: “I am very excited by the potential to test and learn from this fantastic partnership with Asda. It’s a great opportunity for us to find out, across seven of our leading brands, just how shoppers respond to using refillable and reusable packaging in-store. We are all committed to driving lasting change when it comes to plastic, but to do so we must create scalable solutions and make it as easy as possible for people to make sustainable choices.

The trial is part of Unilever UK & Ireland’s #GetPlasticWise campaign, their five-point plastic plan to accelerate progress towards Unilever’s global 2025 plastic targets. As founding signatories of the UK Plastics Pact, Unilever believes that to truly tackle plastics waste in the UK it must be a collaborative effort across the full value chain – right from suppliers, manufacturers and waste management companies through to consumers. Unilever is committed to halving their use of virgin plastic and ensuring all of their plastic packagings is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

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Jo Chidley, Founder of Beauty Kitchen and sustainability expert comments, “The need to act on the plastic pollution crisis is urgent and focusing consumer behaviour on sustainability and cradle to cradle practice is a vital part of the solution. This exciting partnership to power Refill Stations is a pivotal point in creating a sustainable future and instilling a reuse mindset”.