Pantene Releases Shampoo Bottles Made From Sugar

Shampoo bottles made from sugarcane are the newest development in sustainable packaging, and are slated to be released by Pantene in mid-2011.  The technology to create plastic from plant material is fairly new, and its commercial use is even newer; it has been recently publicized by beverage companies such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, who have begun using plant-based plastic for their soda bottles.  Pantene is the first major hair care brand to use this new type of sustainable packaging.

Nature Fusion Shampoo Bottles

Plant-based plastic can be made from many different plants (corn, wheat, switch grass, etc.), but Pantene bottles will be made from sugarcane.  The sustainable shampoo bottles will be used for Pantene's “Nature Fusion,” a line of shampoos and conditioners that boasts of using “naturally-derived ingredients” (a glance at a Nature Fusion bottle reveals ingredients such as citric acid and aloe juice amongst the usual shampoo ingredients).  Switching to sustainable shampoo bottles for Nature Fusion is part of parent company Procter & Gamble's overall sustainability strategy, which includes a 25% switch from petroleum-derived packaging to sustainable packaging by 2020.

European consumers should expect to see the new plant-based bottle on shelves in summer 2011.  Unfortunately, P&G has not yet announced an expected release date for the sustainable shampoo bottles in the United States or other countries.  P&G claims the sustainable shampoo bottles will look and function the same as their petroleum-derived predecessors, and consumers should not notice a difference in quality.  The plant-based plastic shampoo bottles can be tossed in the recycling bin just like any other plastic bottle.

The Benefits of Plant-Based Plastic
Though they may not look or feel any different, plant-based plastic bottles have quite a different production process and create far less environmental impact.  Not only is the plant-based bottle made from natural and renewable sugarcane instead of fossil fuels, but it also uses 70% less fossil fuel in its production.  P&G reports that using plant-based material for plastic bottles decreases greenhouse gas output by 170%.

According to the Global 1000 rankings, which ranks companies according to corporate responsibility, The Procter & Gamble Company secured a rank at number 45 on the list in 2009 and has been one of the top 50 companies in the Global 1000 since 2007.  Pantene is only one of 44 “Beauty and Grooming” brands owned by Procter & Gamble; a few others include CoverGirl, Gillette, Head & Shoulders and Pert.

Photo Credit:  SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget