For sustainable society


Recyclable and beautiful packaging

While more and more people want to choose environmentally friendly products for routine use, deplasticization has not progressed with regard to containers and packaging materials for consumer goods such as shampoos and detergents.

In order to change that situation, Procter & Gamble (P&G) that provides consumer goods around the world that people use every day, has entered into a partnership with the recycling company Viridor to minimize plastic waste. Viridor is the UK’s largest recycling company, with more than 150 local government clients and 32,000 client companies. The company operates businesses such as collecting waste from clients, recycling plastic, glass and paper, and landfill management.

Under the agreement, Viridor will supply high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to P&G over five years. When converted to a container of Ariel which is P&G’s detergent, this has eliminated the production of new plastics for about 200 million containers. The company will make 50% of Ariel’s containers and 100% of Lenor’s transparent containers, made of recycled plastics by the end of 2020.

In addition, P&G is also leading the “HolyGrail,” a corporate alliance project that promotes a circular economy. The circular economy is a concept that aims to achieve both environmental and economic growth by reusing and circulating resources, instead of the traditional economic model of “production – consumption – disposal.” Simply put, it incorporates a resource collection scheme prior to the production phase to minimize both resources and waste for production.

But in fact, it is easy to say but hard to implement. The amount of plastic packaging actually recycled is very small. This is because, as you know, product packaging is not easily recyclable: It comes in a variety of colors and shapes, combining multiple materials rather than a single material.

Therefore, through the HolyGrail project, a technology for applying specific tags to packaging materials has been developed to accurately sort plastic materials. Although the tag is almost invisible to the human eyes but is digital watermarks that can be detected with a dedicated scanner.

This technology will enable advanced sorting at the processing facilities and increase recycling efficiency. By October 2020, this watermark will be applied to P&G’s Lenor.

P&G Hair Care Europe vice-president Artur Litarowicz said: “We are focusing on designing recyclable and beautiful packaging.” As with the responsibilities of the producer, it is important that we, as consumers, also have a responsibility to pay attention to the environment when purchasing the products.


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