The company says it intends to widen the availability of this technology to be used more broadly across the industry.
The MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding (EBM) was created in collaboration with two of Unilever’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. By using gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, it reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.
The technology will be deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, before rolling the technology out. With up to 33 million Dove Body Wash bottles sold across Europe in 2013, the new technology could save up to 275 metric tons of plastic a year; a full roll-out across every Unilever product and packaging format could save up to 27,000 metric tons of plastic, the company says.
The new technology will move the company closer toward its goal set out in its Sustainable Living Plan to halve waste footprint by 2020.
Unilever will waive specific exclusivity rights by January 2015 so that other manufacturers can start to use the technology across their brands and products.