Procter & Gamble, in partnership with recycling and environmental management companies TerraCycle and Suez, have developed what they say is the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic.
The Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle will debut in France this summer at Carrefour.
The companies say this will be the world’s largest production run of recyclable bottles made with post-consumer recycled beach plastic.
It comes as leading companies such as Unilever are turning their attention to plastic waste ending up in oceans and other waterways. On Monday, Unilever CEO Paul Polman called on the consumer goods industry to address ocean plastic waste and employ circular economy models to increase plastic recycling rates.
P&G says that in Europe by end of 2018 more than half a billion bottles per year will include up to 25 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. This represents more than 90 percent of all the hair care bottles sold in Europe across P&G’s hair care portfolio of brands including Pantene and Head & Shoulders.
The project will require a supply of 2,600 tons of recycled plastic every year. P&G has been using post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in packaging for over 25 years and has set a 2020 goal of doubling the tonnage of PCR plastic used in packaging.
Last week P&G pledged to eliminate all manufacturing waste from its global network of more than 100 production sites by 2020.
The companies announced the shampoo bottle partnership in Davos, on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum happening this week, where the circular economy and recycling initiatives have been a big topic for corporate attendees.
Also in Davos, Unilever pledged 100 percent of its plastic packaging will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while Unilever and other multinationals such as Amcor, Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars, Novamont and Veolia endorsed a circular economy plan to ensure 70 percent of plastic packaging is reused and recycled globally, up from today’s recycling rate of 14 percent.
On Monday TerraCycle, in partnership with the city of Davos, launched a city-wide collection and recycling program for cigarette butts.
The P&G partnership also comes at an important time for Paris-based Suez, which, earlier this month acquired a stake in smart waste and recycling startup Rubicon Global that will allow it to reenter the US market.
Last October Suez bought 30 percent of TerraCycle’s operations in Europe in a move that allowed it to expand its recycling services for challenging materials in Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden.