UK – British consumer goods company Unilever has launched a laundry capsule designed to decarbonize the laundry process without compromising cleaning performance.

Launched worldwide, the specially designed capsule is made from biodegradable active ingredients that are 65% derived from plant sources.

The capsule is said to work best on short cycles and in temperatures of 20 degrees or below, which reportedly shrinks the product’s carbon footprint down by 16% and saves customers up to 60% energy with each use.

Unilever maintains that 50% of the packaging is itself recycled, the rest sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Dr. Keith Rutherford, Head of Global Innovation at Unilever Home Care R&D said: “Our ambition is to make sustainable cleaning the compelling choice for every consumer by bringing real innovation to established mass-market products.

“The new proprietary formulation and child-proof cardboard packaging is the work of so many people. This is our best and most sustainable laundry capsule yet – it is truly industry-leading.”

The capsule also reduces the release of microfibres, as well as keeps clothes in good condition for longer, according to a study conducted by the University of Leeds and Procter & Gamble.

The capsules are packaged in a plastic-free, cardboard container that is expected to divert more than 6,000tpa of plastic from entering the waste stream.

They are sold in a child-proof cardboard box that is designed to be easy to open and fully recyclable. The box was developed in partnership with Graphic Packaging.

Unilever launched the new capsule under its largest laundry brand, Dirt Is Good, which is also known as Persil, Skip, OMO and Surf Excel.

The product will initially be rolled out in France before expanding into other markets worldwide.

With the sale of their new capsule, Unilever aims to reduce Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions in all aspects of the product’s life, including in the customer’s washing machine.

It falls under Unilever’s Clean Future campaign which, amongst other goals, seeks to reduce its use of virgin plastic packaging by 50%, and ensure that all its packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Earlier this month, Unilever joined L’Oréal, Zara and other major brands in a collaboration with LanzaTech to convert captured carbon emissions into ethanol and MEG; the results were used in the production of packaging, shoes and textiles.

It also achieved the rank of ‘Master’ in Gartner, Inc.’s Global Supply Chain Top 25, which rewards continual excellence within the supply chain.

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