Special Feature

Eco & Sustainability

63% of shoppers say they would stop using a brand if it is damaging to the environment1. The major FMCG brands are innovating rapidly to improve the sustainability of both products and packaging. Trends such as naturals and vegan are important too, as are ‘free from’ products that avoid substances such as aluminium, sulphites, plastics and parabens.

Here’s a run-down of some of the developments the leading household, health and beauty brands have been making recently.


Unilever is a company of brands and people with a clear purpose: to make sustainable living commonplace.

By 2025, Unilever has committed that all our plastic packaging will be 100% compostable, recyclable, or reusable and to halve the amount of virgin plastic we use in our packaging. We’re cutting plastic waste by using less plastic, better plastic, or no plastic at all – and calling for a fast transition to a circular economy.

As well as using recycled plastic in most of our Skin Cleansing product bottles, we’ll be bringing more eco formats, so watch this space…

Within laundry, we’re leading our environmental innovations further with Persil Capsules in plastic-free packaging and continuing to provide outstanding stain removal even in cold washes!

We’ve set out a clear pathway to take Unilever to zero emissions in our operations by 2030 and net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039. We’re transitioning to renewable energy across our operations, finding new low-carbon ingredients, expanding our plant-based product range, and developing fossil-fuel-free cleaning and laundry products.


Today, P&G purchases 100% renewable electricity in the US, Canada and Western Europe with zero manufacturing waste sent to landfill. P&G has committed to achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2040 across their operations and supply chain, from raw material to retailer. To collaborate efforts to mobilise climate action, P&G has joined the UN’s Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaigns. P&G is also a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact working towards four ambitious targets by 2025, including ensuring all plastic packaging is 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable.

We’ve set out a clear pathway to take P&G to zero emissions in our operations by 2030 and net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039. We’re transitioning to renewable energy across our operations, finding new low-carbon ingredients, expanding our plant-based product range, and developing fossil-fuel-free cleaning and laundry products.

P&G is using its brands to enable and inspire responsible consumption. Examples include:

  • Ariel has optimised formulas for quick, cold cycles, helping people save time, money, and energy.
  • Flash cleaning sprays’ packaging are recyclable and uses up to 100% recycled material.
  • Gillette and Venus’s refillable razors use fully recyclable cardboard packaging, made with recycled content and responsibly sourced paper, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • Aussie, Head & Shoulders, Pantene, and Herbal Essences launched new, high-performing shampoo bars formulated in such a way that one bar equals up to two equivalent 250ml liquid shampoo bottles.

SC Johnson

SC Johnson has an exceptional heritage in environmental sustainability. In 1975 they pioneered the removal of CFCs from 100% of their aerosol products, three years before it became law in 1978.

94% of the plastic used in their product packaging is recyclable, reusable, or compostable, with a target of 100% by 2025.

SC Johnson also partners with Plastic Bank, which builds recycling centres worldwide. As well as the sustainability benefit of stopping plastic from ending up in the ocean, these centres also provide economic benefits for local communities.


Johnson’s Baby Cotton Buds have 100% paper stems. Their packs are now fully recyclable, saving the equivalent of over 40 million plastic bags per year.

Listerine has replaced its traditional black bottle caps with transparent ones, which can be more easily recycled locally. The bottles themselves are also becoming translucent, and the label adhesive is becoming fully recyclable.


Colgate Palmolive is aiming to have zero plastic waste by 2025. Improvements include recyclable toothpaste tubes, mouthwash bottles, and toothbrushes made of 25% recycled plastic. Already in the Colgate range is a bamboo toothbrush and a toothbrush system with reusable handle changeable heads to reduce plastic waste, with more to come in 2023.

Palmolive is introducing fully recyclable pumps, shower gel, hand wash bottles, and soap bar wrappers. Palmolive sources 100% of its palm oil from sustainable, traceable sources and is committed to no deforestation.


Kimberly-Clark is leading the way on sustainability to deliver on our promise of Better Care for a Better world. By 2030 our ambition is to deliver on 100% renewable energy, zero virgin plastic, zero natural forest certified fibre and advance the wellbeing of 50 million people in the UK and Ireland.

We’ve been intentional about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels through major investments in wind, solar and green hydrogen. We’ve also removed 1063 tonnes of plastic from our Kleenex, Huggies and Andrex brands! And by 2025, 100% of our packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

With 150 years of innovative experience, we lead the world in finding new ways to source for products by pioneering new fibre technologies. Currently, 77% of our fibre is sourced from fast-growing farmed eucalyptus and nearly all the fibres used in our products is FSC certified.

Every year, Andrex is committed to supplying products to In Kind Direct, starting with 1 million rolls in 2022, Kleenex supports 20,000 calls to the MIND helpline, 29 million Andrex packs help raise awareness of bowel cancer and in 2022, Huggies text service through PANDAS helped over 1000 people.


Dettol offers biodegradable antibacterial wipes, along with refills for their cleaning sprays which reduce plastic by 70% and can be recycled through TerraCycle.

Finish 0% Dishwasher Tablets are free from preservatives and fragrances and come in fully recyclable packaging.

The new Harpic Essential toilet cleaning range is made with a biodegradable formula.

Air Wick offers aerosol products with a naturally odour-neutralising action which is free from dyes, parabens and synthetic solvents and comes in a pack made from 99% recycled plastic.

PZ Cussons

All Carex, Imperial Leather and Bayley’s of Bond Street hand wash bottles and pumps are designed to be refilled and reused multiple times. Carex was the first-hand wash brand to introduce refill pouches, which contain up to 85% less plastic. Carex bottles are all 100% recyclable and are manufactured using 30% recycled plastic, and all hand pumps can be recycled through Terracycle.



All brand and product information sourced from the relevant manufacturers

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