Everything we do at Ecover starts with sustainability as our guiding principle.
In the long term, we want to eliminate single use plastic and are making steps towards this.
First, we have maximised our use of recycled plastic. We have introduced 100% PCR PET into our bottles (which previously had 75% HPDE virgin and 25% PCR plastic). We have also introduced 50% PCR PP into our cap (which previously had 100% virgin PP).
Second, we have simplified the design to eliminate any unnecessary material like the plastic spout. We have reduced plastic by 64% in the closure of our 1.5L bottles by removing the spout and changing the cap. We think the user experience is no different without the spout and we feel confident Ecover fans will be happy to receive one less plastic item. As a result of all these changes, we have made an average plastic saving of 8.7% across all our laundry bottles. We’ve also added an intuitive grip and overall, we think the design feels more modern and reflects the boldness of Ecover.
We no longer have a handle on the bottle because it is extremely difficult to create one using PET plastic. Whilst we could have inserted a separately manufactured grip out of a different material, we decided against this as it would mean the bottle would no longer be recyclable (due to a mix of plastics). Instead we have introduced a big grip on the front and back of the bottles to give our consumers a firm grasp and to allow for easy pouring. The ribs underneath the labels add additional stability too. We switched from HDPE to PET plastic because we have a great supply of high quality, post consumer recycled PET.
We tested the new packaging considering technical aspects, sustainability and a positive consumer experience. To make sure we found the best solution, we went through several design options and different materials and weights in the pilot phase. We also worked in close collaboration with our suppliers - a tooling design company and a recycling facility.
For consumer experience we made sure that the internal test panel was a broad mix of people with different abilities, to understand handling, lifting, pouring and dosing of Fabric care products, which allowed us to fine tune some of the finer details of our design to elevate this experience.