Since 2014, the brand has been working to incorporate more post-consumer recycled (PCR) PET* into its Cif Active Gel bottles. It reached 50% in 2017 and this year managed to achieve 100% in the packaging across the entire range.
Cif is the first dishwash brand in Argentina to put such an innovation on the supermarket shelves. But getting to this milestone wasn’t easy.
Creating a circular economy
There was simply not enough virgin plastic being recycled in the country. This meant it was hard to get hold of the volumes of PCR needed to feed into the process of making new bottles from recycled material.
To overcome that, we are encouraging consumers to help build a circular economy for plastic. Unilever are partnering with the Buenos Aires city government to promote recycling, educate and raise awareness among consumers about separating waste, so more bottles are collected.
They are also working in collaboration with ALPLA, a world leader in the development and production of plastic packaging solutions, and Ecopek, a specialist PET recycling plant, to increase the amount of PCR resin available for them to use.
“We realised that the circular economy wasn’t going to develop by itself,” says Marketing Director Ramiro Amengual, “so we focused on several steps of the value chain, working in partnership with the government and our suppliers. We believe that collective action is the only way to drive the transformational change needed to reach our sustainability goals.”
We believe that collective action is the only way to drive the transformational change needed to reach our sustainability goals.Ramiro Amengual
Less oil, less waste
Using 100% PCR in the Cif Active Gel bottles means they avoid the need for over 3,000 barrels of oil – that’s what it would take if we made them from virgin resin. It also prevents 800 tonnes of plastic going to landfill.
While Cif Active Gel is the first brand in Argentina to take this big step, all Unilever’s concentrated dishwash liquid portfolio in the country will be migrating to 100% PET PCR bottles.
*PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common form of plastic used for packaging household cleaning products as well as drinks, foods and cosmetics. It is also the most widely recycled.