Pantene, the brand of haircare products run by Proctor and Gamble, will be shipping its first plant-based plastic containers to stores in Western Europe this month. Sourced mainly from sugarcane, the new packaging is expected not only to slash P&G’s fossil-fuel consumption by 70 percent but also to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 170 percent, according to Len Sauers, the company’s vice president of sustainability. Not that consumers will be able to tell the difference—at first glance, anyway. With the exception of an extra green label, the packaging will look exactly the same as before. So, it appears, will its less-than-au-naturel formula.
The facility that makes the new containers runs almost entirely on energy derived from sugarcane by-products. In fact, it even produces enough energy to pump back into the grid, says Hanneke Faber, vice president and general manager of global hair for P&G.
Although the new process is costlier than the one before, P&G doesn’t anticipate any impact to its bottom line.
But although the new process is costlier than the one before, P&G doesn’t anticipate any impact to its bottom line. “It is an investment to be at the forefront and as the technology becomes more mainstream [costs will decrease],” Faber tells WWD. “As the world’s biggest hair care brand, we need to be there first. We are responsible for healthy hair and also a healthy world.”
P&G unveiled its first official sustainability strategies in 2007, including plans to improve five billion lives within the next five years. Not in Western Europe? Pantene’s bottle swap will roll out over 18 months to cover all 180 countries where it’s sold.
Now if only it’d do something about the toxic chemicals in its shampoo and conditioner.
[Via + WWD]