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“Why don’t you just stop using plastic altogether?”

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We’re completely rethinking the role of plastic in our business. And this is one of the questions we’re asked most frequently. Here’s our response.

Seventh Generation’s ‘zero plastic’ laundry tablets, packaged in a stainless-steel canister.

We’ve pledged to halve our use of virgin plastic by 2025 – partly by eliminating over 100,000 tonnes of plastic from our packaging – and to design all our packaging to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable.

We’re making good progress towards these targets, but we’re increasingly asked why we don’t just stop using plastic altogether. And there are good reasons why not.

Plastic has a place in the economy and in business, as it’s crucial for the safe and efficient distribution of products. It also often has the lowest carbon footprint compared to other materials.

Our approach to products and packaging is changing

Science tells us that most of the solutions we need already exist today, but we must fix the broken plastic system to protect our ocean and marine ecosystems. We need new ways for consumers to easily access everyday products with less plastic waste as a result. We want to keep plastic in a circular loop system by collecting, processing and repeatedly reusing it.

So we’re rethinking how we design products, developing whole new business models and offering different shopping experiences for our consumers. This includes looking at alternative options to plastic – such as metal, paper and glass – provided these don’t create an environmental problem elsewhere. Plastic-free packaging innovations are another solution, these include bamboo toothbrushes from Signal and recyclable glass soup bottles from Knorr.

We’re using reuse-refill solutions to cut out new plastic completely too. In Chile, we have partnered with social enterprise Algramo to deliver a refill model directly to consumers at home. In the UK, we launched our biggest refill trial to date in Europe, in partnership with retailer Asda and sustainability experts Beauty Kitchen.

Of course, the more others come on board (businesses and governments especially) and work to tackle this together, the bigger the impact we can have.

Discover more about how we’re rethinking plastic packaging


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