Unilever launches technology to reduce plastic in bottles

23 April 2014 (Last Updated April 23rd, 2014 18:30)

Multinational consumer goods company Unilever has announced the launch of MuCell technology for extrusion blow moulding (EBM) which minimises plastic use by 15%.

Multinational consumer goods company Unilever has announced the launch of MuCell technology for extrusion blow moulding (EBM) which minimises plastic use by 15%.

The company developed the new packaging technology in collaboration with its packaging suppliers Alpla and MuCell Extrusion.

The technology uses gas injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, reducing the bottle density as well as the amount of plastic that is needed.

MuCell technology will initially be deployed in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, where it is expected to save around 275t of plastic annually. Up to 27,000t of plastic could be saved with a full roll-out of the technology across every Unilever product and packaging format.

The Unilever sustainable living plan aims to halve the company's waste footprint by 2020.

Unilever R&D packaging vice president Paul Howells said that the company's continuous focus on new technologies will help it to build a sustainable business.

"But there's only so much that Unilever can achieve on our own; and by opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact," Howells added.

To be published on 28 April, the Unilever Sustainable Living Report 2013 will confirm that the company's total footprint from packaging waste to landfill has reduced by 11%, as a result of efficient pack designs and the disposal of sauce brands with large waste footprints.