Hindustan Unilever introduces recyclable bottles for Surf Excel Matic Liquid

FMCG major addresses the issue of plastic waste

Hindustan Unilever is introducing Surf Excel Matic Liquid with a recyclable bottle
Hindustan Unilever is introducing Surf Excel Matic Liquid with a recyclable bottle

As a part of its endeavor to address the issue of climate change and plastic waste, fast-moving consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has introduced Surf Excel Matic Liquid with 100% biodegradable actives in the product formulation and 50% recycled plastic in packaging. The company believes this is a great start to reducing the environmental footprint in the product life cycle.

Mumbai-headquartered Hindustan Unilever says that the product, pack, and communication change are a slight nudge from Surf Excel to the citizens to believe their choices make a difference in creating a world we all wish for. It has published a new brand communication film which is centered around the idea of taking control of our future in the small ways we can.

The protagonist of this film is a young child who is moved by the stories of her father’s and grandfather’s experiences from a time when man and nature weren’t as out of sync with each other.

With a determination to create a world where she can be a part of these exciting experiences, she starts collecting waste on the beach to create space for nature to flourish. Showing the path to her elders, she acts to make better choices for a cleaner future for herself, and many children like her are looking forward to enjoying the world in all its glory. 

Hindustan Unilever’s effort in reducing plastic waste

Earlier this year, HUL said that from 2021 onwards, it would collect and process more plastic packaging waste than the plastic in the packaging used by it. The company will enable the processing of over 1 lakh tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste through collection from all states and union territories.

This is in line with the commitment HUL has made for a circular economy. Implementing the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework for plastic waste management has taken a head start. HUL said it has also developed an ecosystem of partners enabling the collection and safe processing of plastic packaging waste. The company has now scaled up the joint efforts to collect more plastic packaging waste than its total plastics footprint, four years ahead of what it previously thought was possible.

HUL said that since 2018 it had facilitated environmentally safe disposal of more than 1.2 lakh tonnes of post-consumer-use plastic waste. The company has partnered with various organizations to collect plastic waste, including Saahas, Carpe, Recykal, Planet Savers, RaddiConnect, Geoycle, Ramky Enviro. Through its partners and with support from municipal corporations, the company has reached out to housing societies and commercial establishments to improve plastic waste collection. 

The company is working in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the international organization Xynteo. Through these partnerships, material recovery facilities have been set up in Mumbai to demonstrate the feasibility of inclusive end-to-end waste management solutions. 

Meanwhile, the education department of Maharashtra, Hindustan Unilever, and Xynteo have rolled out a digital school curriculum focused on the importance of segregation, collection, and safe disposal of waste. During its pilot last year, the program reached nearly one lakh children in Maharashtra and is currently being scaled across the state. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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