P&G tries out nonplastic deodorant packaging
Image provided by Procter & Gamble.

P&G tries out nonplastic deodorant packaging

Paperboard Old Spice and Secret packaging will be available in Walmart stores.

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Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G) is citing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as a motive behind introducing all-paper tube packaging for select Old Spice and Secret deodorant products. “We’re excited to announce that Old Spice and Secret are the first major brands to introduce all-paper, plastic-free deodorant packaging available in select Walmart Stores,” states the consumer products company.

“If we convert just 10 percent of our current deodorant packages to recycled paper or another recyclable material, it could eliminate up to 1.5 million pounds (750 tons) of plastic waste annually,” says Anitra Marsh, associate director of global sustainability and brand communications of P&G Beauty business unit.

The paper tube package is made of 90 percent recycled-content paper and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, says P&G. It features a “push up” design to act as a replacement for some of P&G’s plastic stick deodorant cannisters. P&G, which is completing the second phase of recyclability testing on the new package this fall, says it hopes to learn how consumers respond to the design. “If successful, P&G will expand the new package across more of its lineup,” states the company.

“We co-designed this package with consumers who are interested in cutting back on plastic waste,” says Freddy Bharucha, vice president of personal care at P&G Beauty. “The majority of Gen Z consumers have high expectations for environmentally friendly products.”

The paper tube package is one of several ideas that P&G has initiated in hopes of reducing its use of plastic. Earlier in 2020, it reduced the amount of plastic in its Secret antiperspirant and deodorant cannisters by eight percent, reducing its plastic of plastic by 450 tons. In October, P&G began selling a limited edition of its best-selling Olay Regenerist Whip with a refill pod that reduces its use of plastic by 94 percent.

Additionally, P&G says it was the first company to join TerraCycle’s LOOP program, which is testing “collect and refill” packages through an e-commerce platform in select cities worldwide.

Both P&G and Walmart have publicly declared sustainability goals. By 2030, P&G Beauty’s brands have committed to using 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging while reducing the use of virgin petroleum-content plastic by 50 percent. By 2025, Walmart is committing zero waste to landfill for its operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Japan.

“Walmart is steadfast in its commitment to transform retail in the interest of environmental sustainability,” says Jason Kloster, senior buying manager in the body care a grooming product lines at Walmart. “As the largest retailer in the world, partnering with the largest deodorant and antiperspirant brands in the U.S., we know this new paperboard package has the potential to have significant positive impact and lay the groundwork for even broader impact.”