We've updated our clear spray sun care bottles so they're now fully recyclable. Packaging sustainability specialist Kirstie Youngson blogs about the changes...
As part of our Plastic Unwrapped campaign we reviewed our suncare packaging for summer 2019 to remove any unnecessary plastic and make sure the plastic we use is fully recyclable.
Our suncare bottles are already the lightest on the market, which is good news, and most are made from high quality plastic which is fully recyclable. The only challenge was our clear sprays which were covered in a shrink wrapper similar to one you'd find on a soft drinks bottle.
These PVC wrappers weren’t suitable for recycling but were covering up good quality polyethylene (PE) plastic underneath. By replacing the wrapper with a clear adhesive label we’ve made sure the bottles can be recycled. The biggest challenge was fitting all the brand and product information onto the smaller label.
We’ve coloured the bottles orange to make them easier to identify and sort at the recycling depot. “Natural” HDPE is recycled back into milk bottles but non-food bottles can’t be turned into milk bottles because they can’t be cleaned to food grade quality.
The way the bottles are sorted at the recycling depot is with an infrared laser beam. This identifies the polyethylene plastic which is then separated from other plastic waste, and then hand-sorted by eye.
It’s hard to tell just by looking whether a polyethylene plastic bottle has been used for food or suncream and we didn’t want to contaminate the recycling stream for milk bottles. So we’ve coloured the bottles orange to make them easier to sort.
The orange bottles are still semi-translucent so you can see how much of the product is left inside, and the new packaging means the clear sprays really stand out on the shelf from the rest of our suncare range.
We've recently done some research and found that 34% of Brits choose not to apply any sunscreen in a bid to tan quicker. But sun cream is important to protect you from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays and can help to prevent skin cancer.
We're passionate about our sun cream – it's 5* UVA protection rated, Skin Health Alliance approved and starts at only £2.39 a bottle, so there’s no excuse not to be safe this summer!