Industry Press Releases

Unilever Launches Breakthrough Packaging Technology That Uses 15% Less Plastic

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

 Dove Body Wash bottles will contain at a minimum 15% less plastic as a result of a newly developed packaging technology launched by Unilever today. Unilever intends to widen the availability of this technology to be used more broadly across the industry. The new technology represents another substantial contribution to the target set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to halve waste footprint by 2020.

The MuCell® Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding (EBM) was created in close collaboration with two of Unilever’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. It represents a breakthrough in bottle technology: by using gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, it reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.

The technology will be deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, before rolling the technology out. With up to 33 million Dove Body Wash bottles sold across Europe in 2013, the new technology stands to save up to 275 tonnes of plastic a year; whereas a full roll-out across every Unilever product and packaging format could save up to 27,000 tonnes of plastic and contribute significantly to the target set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to halve waste footprint by 2020.

Unilever will waive specific exclusivity rights by January 2015 so that other manufacturers can start to use the technology across their brands and products. Paul Howells, Vice President R&D Packaging at Unilever explains:

    “We’re always on the search for new technologies that can help us achieve our ambition to build a more sustainable business and halve our environmental footprint, and working with our two partners, we’ve created a unique technology that will transform our portfolio. But there’s only so much that Unilever can achieve on our own; and by opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact. We very much hope that our peers in the industry will take advantage of this technology too and apply it to their products.”


Mark Lindenfelzer, President of MuCell Extrusion LLC, said:

    “MuCell® Technology is an exciting innovation. Whilst consumers won’t see any difference in the bottles, the impact on the environment will be very real. We’re delighted to be part of this development and believe that it marks a real shift for manufacturers who want to behave responsibly.”

On 28 April 2014, the Unilever Sustainable Living Report 2013 will be published, and it will confirm that Unilever’s total footprint from packaging waste to landfill has reduced (-11%) as a result of efficient pack designs and the disposal of sauce brands with large waste footprints.All packaging with this technology will remain 100% recyclable.


About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2013 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the third year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit


About Dove

Dove is one of the world’s biggest beauty brands and touches millions of lives every day.  The brand is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety, and believes it is important for women to see the beauty in themselves so that they can inspire the next generation. Dove has set a goal of reaching 15 milion young lives with self-esteem programming by the end of 2015, and has reached over 13 million to date.


About MuCell Extrusion


MuCell Extrusion LLC licenses technology and sells related equipment for the production of microcellular foam products.  We specialise in extrusion and extrusion blow moulding for bottles, sheet and film for consumer packaging and our technology can significantly reduce polymer consumption, environmental impact and cost for our clients.  MuCell Extrusion LLC ( is 100% owned by Zotefoams plc (

MuCell® is a registered trademark of Trexel Inc, licensed exclusively to MuCell Extrusion LLC for use in microcellular foaming of extrusion products.




As the international technology leader in the field of plastic packaging, ALPLA provides its clients worldwide with an innovative, top quality product since 1955.

In more than 152 plants in 40 different countries ALPLA has approximately 15.300 employees and produces plastic packaging solutions for renown brands of all categories including the Food and Beverage industry, Personal & Home Care products and the Oil and Lubricants industry. The product range includes bottles, performs, caps and tubes.  As a systems supplier of plastic bottles with caps, ALPLA designs and manufactures the entire package for the customers.

For more information about ALPLA, please visit