Consumer goods giant Unilever has said that it will invest €100,000 in a new plastic-free laundry tablet.
The group, with leading brands like Persil, CIF, and Domestos, said that the crowdsourced innovation has the potential to replace single-use sachets of laundry powder, a popular format for laundry detergents in the developing world that is problematic in terms of plastic waste.
Plastic Waste Issue
The tablet will come in an affordable plant-derived coating that protects each tablet against humidity, one of the main reasons for using plastic packaging in the first place. The tablet will be further developed before being trialled in a suitable market.
It hopes to replace the billions of single-use laundry sachets sold every year to provide an affordable solution for low-income consumers in developing markets.
“The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next decade. Addressing this issue is the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the value chain,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever Home Care, said.
“However, as a major player in the consumer goods industry, we are aware that our response is critical in setting the pace of change. This hackathon is part of our broader work with leading experts and innovators to redesign our packaging and work with the wider industry to accelerate the systemic change that is so urgently needed.”
Rethink Plastic Hackathon
The idea was one of 10 new solutions to emerge from Unilever’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon, which was hosted in partnership with One Young World.
The Hackathon was a one-day event that brought together Unilever teams with leading designers, innovators, venture capital and packaging experts.
“This Hackathon is a great example of where innovative young leaders are able to showcase their abilities in bringing solutions to the table and utilising the power businesses hold in implementing change,” Kate Robertson, co-founder of One Young World, said.
“I am really excited by the plastic-free laundry detergent, along with all of the ideas from this Hackathon.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.