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Dove moves to 100% recycled plastic bottles


Dove is taking positive action on plastic waste by launching one of the biggest plastic reduction programmes in the global beauty industry

Dove bottles

Plastic waste is one of the biggest global environmental and human health issues we face today: an issue being driven by a linear, single-use consumption model.

To be part of the solution in creating a circular plastics economy, one where plastics are reused and recycled, Dove is accelerating and expanding its actions with renewed force.

Supporting Unilever’s recently announced goals on plastic reduction across the business, Dove has opted for long-term initiatives rather than one-off limited editions to ensure a greater and sustained impact.

In a move that will reduce more than 20,500 tonnes of virgin plastic from its portfolio per year, and support the creation of a circular plastics economy, Dove is making some significant changes to packaging and products. Here’s how.

No plastic

Next year, single packs of Dove’s iconic beauty bar will be plastic-free globally1.

Development is also underway to replace the plastic outer-wrap of beauty bar multipacks with a zero-plastic material.

Dove bottles

Better plastic

In line with Unilever’s global commitment to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025, Dove will switch to new 100% recycled plastic bottles, where technically feasible, in North America and Europe by the end of 2019. This will apply to packs across all three of the brand’s ranges: Dove, Dove Men+Care and Baby Dove2.

Dove continues to search for solutions where recycled plastic is not currently technically feasible, including for caps and pumps.

Dove bottles

Less plastic

Dove will leverage the technology behind its new reusable, refillable, stainless steel format deodorant sticks: minim™. This technology minimises waste by radically reducing the amount of plastic required.

The launch date is not yet confirmed but work is well underway. minim™ will be trialled as part of the LOOP™ platform initiative: a first-of-its-kind, minimal waste, direct-to-consumer shopping system which launched earlier this year in cities in France and the US.

Dove's Minim bars

Care that goes further

“At Dove, we believe in care that goes further: for our consumers, as well as our planet,” says Marcela Melero, VP Dove Global Skin Cleansing.

“We are passionately committed to being one of the brands making the biggest impact against plastic waste. We know we’re not perfect, but we can’t afford to wait. We’re working to have the biggest positive impact we can, as quickly as we can, and empowering others to do the same.”

“Tackling plastic waste is vital for Unilever and our brands. I am proud of the work that Dove has done to revolutionise its packaging. Our aim is to transform the way we use, reuse and recycle plastic to ensure it stays in the economy and out of our communities and oceans,” adds Chief R&D Officer Richard Slater.

“By taking these steps, Dove will be the biggest brand in the world that has moved to 100% recycled packaging. This should send a clear signal to the global recycling industry that there is a huge consumer demand for recycled packaging. We will continue to innovate across our brands to change the way we use plastic for good.”

1 Production timing pending on development test results.

2 There are only few exceptions within the whole portfolio that are not fully 100% recycled bottles but still present a very high percentage in certain specific markets, and the plan is to achieve 100% very soon. In EU, Dove bottles with MuCell technology will be at 97% recycled plastic content by year end. Liquid hand wash, also with MuCell technology, will be at 97% recycled plastic but we had to postpone the implementation to Q3 2020 as we couldn’t find enough recycled plastic.

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