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P&G’s Head & Shoulders Embarks on New Recycling Initiative

The company will be the first in hair care to manufacture a recyclable shampoo bottle made from recycled beach plastic.

Sustainability is making strides in the hair-care industry in a big way.

In a press conference at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, the Procter & Gamble Co.-owned Head & Shoulders brand announced it will produce a recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent post-consumer recycled beach plastic, a first for the hair-care industry.

“We felt that the leading shampoo brand in sales should lead sustainability innovation and know that when we do this, it encourages the entire industry to do the same,” said Lisa Jennings, vice president of Head & Shoulders and global hair-care sustainability leader at P&G.

P&G is partnering with recycling companies TerraCycle and SUEZ to collect and reuse the recycled beach plastic. The new product will first be released this summer at French retailer Carrefour, which will carry the Head & Shoulders product as a limited-edition item. P&G has been using this recycled material in its packaging for 25 years, but hopes that this initiative will double the tonnage of post-consumer recycled plastic used in its packaging.

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Through the initiative, P&G also plans to have more than half a billion bottles per year contain up to 25 percent of the recycled plastic in Europe by the end of 2018. This goal includes more than 90 percent of all hair-care bottles sold in Europe across the company’s portfolio of brands, including Head & Shoulders and Pantene. The initiative will require roughly 2,600 tons of the recycled plastic each year and the help of thousands of volunteers.

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“At P&G, we believe that actions speak louder than words,” said Virginie Helias, vice president of global sustainability at P&G. “The increased use of post-consumer recycled plastic across our hair-care portfolio of brands demonstrates our continued commitment to driving real change. Increasing the use of recycled plastic in the packaging of our flagship brands, like Pantene and Head & Shoulders, makes it easier for consumers to choose more sustainable products, without any trade-offs.”