Cif refills to cut 1.5 million plastic bottles from supermarkets

Unilever revealed a new Cif ecorefill at Sainsbury’s in the UK on Tuesday.

The FMCG giant aims to get rid of 1.5 million plastic bottles from supermarkets through the new product, addressing consumer demand for fewer plastics in grocery and more refillable and reusable options.

It will also launch the new eco-friendly cleaning product on Amazon by August. The multinational business said in a statement that 62 per cent of people said it’s more important to reuse than to recycle products. There are over eight in 10 consumers who wants more access to refillable products yet only one in six buys them.

“We know that people are looking to reduce their plastic footprint and the use of concentrates, like this novel design by Unilever, is a way to support people to do this. In addition to this, a major environmental benefit is the reduction in the amount of product that is transported around the UK. As a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact it is great to see continuous innovation by Unilever in their commitment to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025,” Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at WRAP (The UK Plastics Pact), said.

Unilever said there’s a prevalent lack of awareness on refills or none at all available at supermarket shelves. So it decided to create a twist and click refill design for its Cif cleaning product. It’s produced with a 75 per cent less plastic cap that is attached to the current Cif Power & Shine bottles. The ecorefills are 100 per cent recyclable without the plastic sleeves.

It aims to have all Cif eco refills and spray bottles 100 per cent recyclable by 2020. It was downsized to save storage space and the bottles are now lightweight. The concentrate cleaner can be diluted at home so “97 per cent less water is being transported, fewer trucks on the road and less greenhouse gas emissions”. It also costs less compared to the original product at Sainsbury’s.

Unilever said that consumers will now be able to use the Cif Power & Shine trigger spray bottles for a lifetime. They can call the company to have broken sprays replaced with new ones for free and delivered straight to their homes.

“The launch of Cif ecorefills is a game-changer when it comes to reducing plastic waste in the products we use to clean our homes. Our research shows that two-thirds of us feel guilty when we throw away plastic and shoppers are looking for easy switches that can have a positive impact on the world around us. We think there’s no better place to start than in the home. By keeping a bottle of Cif and refilling and reusing it over and over again, consumers can reduce their consumption of single use plastic,” Gemma Cleland, cice president, Homecare, Unilever UK & Ireland, said.

Unilever launched its #GetPlasticWise campaign earlier in 2019. The Five Point Plastics Plan reduces plastic waste across the UK and Ireland. It wants all its plastic packaging to become fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 its packaging.

The refillable Cif will be available at Amazon, Ocado and Morrisons in August and Wilko by the end of July.

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