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Cif innovation to dramatically cut plastic use and transport emissions


We have just launched Cif ecorefill, a completely new type of product that works for consumers and the environment.

Butelka ecorefill

A solution that tackles multiple problems

Changing how we make, distribute, use and dispose of everyday products is one of the biggest environmental challenges the world is currently facing. It’s also an issue where consumption habits are just as important as business models.

For companies like ours – that sell consumer goods – this is particularly challenging. Even more so for household care and cleaning brands, because the safety requirements for these products mean they need sturdy packaging that doesn’t leak.

Added to that is the popularity of trigger sprays, which are problematic in their own way.

While triggers are technically recyclable, many recycling companies aren’t geared up to deal with them. Plus, they are designed to last approximately 15 times – about five years, on average – but instead, generally get disposed of after just one use.

In response to this combination of challenges, we created Cif ecorefill – a 10x concentrated refill that allows shoppers to buy one spray bottle, which they can then use for life.

Made with 75% less plastic, Cif ecorefill attaches to current Cif Power & Shine bottles.

Diluting the product at home means 97% less water being transported, 87% fewer trucks on the road and less greenhouse gas emissions. Importantly, diluting has no effect on product performance.

The ecorefill is 100% recyclable once the plastic sleeves are removed. By the end of 2020, we’re aiming for all ecorefill and spray bottles to be made from 100% recycled plastic.

As we are committed to people using their Power & Shine spray bottles for life, if the trigger spray breaks, we will deliver a new one free of charge.

Good for consumers, the planet and our business

Refill and reuse options are an important part of tackling the issue of single-use, disposable bottles. The challenge has been finding a way to do it that’s viable and easy to use.

Research from Edelman shows that UK consumers are increasingly demanding more refillable and reusable solutions.

Over 60% say reuse is more important to them than recycling and while more than eight in ten wish they had access to more refillable products, only one in six are currently buying them. The main barriers are lack of awareness and availability.

Cleaning products pose a particular set of issues for consumers. They are bulky and heavy to carry back from the shop, and they take up a lot of room to store at home.

Cif ecorefill provides the answer to these problems. They are small and light, so can be bought in bulk, and they take up less space in cupboards and recycling bins.

In the research, 40% of people thought they would be more expensive. But actually, they retail at less than the price of Cif spray bottles.

The design also makes them easier to use than many alternatives on the market, including refill pouches that can be difficult to pour and therefore quite messy. Almost a third of people worry about spillages when refilling household products, particularly cleaning supplies.

“The launch of Cif ecorefill is a game-changer when it comes to reducing plastic waste in the products we use to clean our homes,” says Gemma Cleland, VP, Homecare, Unilever UK & Ireland. “Our research shows that two-thirds of us feel guilty when we throw away plastic and shoppers are looking for easy switches that can have a positive impact on the world around us.

“We think there’s no better place to start than in the home. By keeping a bottle of Cif and refilling and reusing it over and over again, consumers can reduce their consumption of single-use plastic.”

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