Unilever has launched a new “compressed” aerosol design for its for female deodorant brands Sure, Dove and Vaseline, in the UK. The personal care manufacturer claims these half sized cans (75ml instead of 150ml previously) last the same length of time as previous cans while using only 50 per cent of the propellant required for their predecessors.
“As a result, switching to the new can will have tangible environmental benefits, including reducing the overall carbon footprint of the product by an average of 25 per cent per can,” Unilever claims. “The new-look cans use on average 25 per cent less aluminium and, due to the smaller size, 53 per cent more cans fit onto a pallet. This results in a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas associated with having 35 per cent fewer lorries on the road transporting the products.”
In a product category where 80 per cent of UK and Ireland consumers prefer aerosols to roll on or stick deodorants, and some 19 million cans of female aerosol deodorant are used per year in the UK, this means 24 tonnes of aluminium can be saved immediately, which is enough to make 1,846,000 soft drink cans or 12,000 aluminium bikes. Regarding carbon reduction, it would amount to 283 tonnes, that is to say the average emissions of a car travelling 51 times around the earth.
According to Unilever, this is the first major packaging reduction initiative for aerosol deodorants since they were introduced in the late 1960s.
Unilever, which has the ambition to double the size of its business, whilst reducing its overall environmental footprint by 2020, thus decoupling its growth from its environmental impact, also recently announced that more than 50% of all its factories in the world have achieved the goal of sending no waste to landfill in 2012.
“Over 130 Unilever factories across the world, from Costa Rica to Japan, send no non-hazardous waste to landfill, up from 74 at start of the year. Key driver for this achievement is the elimination of waste in the factories,” the company explained.