You want the detergent and maintenance products you use to be in a robust yet lightweight container that doesn’t break or leak easily and that is easy to handle and dispense the contents from. Plastic delivers all of those benefits.
So how do we reduce our use of plastic when it comes to our products? The industry is working hard on this and has set a target to have all plastic packaging of household cleaning products be recyclable, compostable or reusable, with at least 20% recycled content by 2025.
It is also working on the design of plastic packaging to reduce plastic use. For example, certain bottles now have a plastic sleeve with all the label information on. This enables greater use of – non coloured - recycled plastic as sleeves can be individually designed. Lightweighting of packaging is another example of better design.
A circular approach
In the bigger picture, instead of the linear economy that we have been used to, where we make things, use them, and then throw them or their packaging away, the idea is to design away waste and pollution from the start. We move towards a circular economy where we recycle all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment.
This is the vision of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which the A.I.S.E, which represents the industry in Europe, has officially endorsed.
Recycle and refill
In addition to companies‘ efforts to design their packaging more sustainably, consumers have a key role to help packaging be more circular by sorting them in the right bin! This is why we recommend you to retain permanent or refillable packaging and buy refill packs where available.
The content is just the same and it means less cardboard and/or plastic packaging waste. Generally, follow the guidance provided by your municipality to sort smartly.
Several detergents and cleaning products are now delivered in bottles which are made from recycled material and are surrounded by a plastic label in the form of a sleeve. Packaging with high amount of recycled content (sometimes up to almost 100%) will often have a yellow to grayish appearance. The advantage of this thin sleeve is that it is customizable and covers the bottle; thanks to this method, the bottle itself does not need to be colored and can thus be more easily recycled once the sleeve is removed. As the bottle and the sleeve are often made of different materials, the sleeve must be separated from the bottle before going into the recycling process. This way, we can secure higher rates of recycling. When you see this icon, please remember to “Separate label and bottle for recycling” before disposal.
Note: Some products may also feature this “zipper” to indicate where to start tearing off the sleeve.