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P&G to Use Sugarcane-Based Plastic Packaging for Beauty Brands

Earlier this month, Proctor & Gamble announced plans to use renewable, sustainable, sugarcane-based plastic for packaging on its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor brands.

I’m happy to see that P&G did its research and chose not to use corn-based plastic. Corn-based plastic has been all the rage lately and can be found in everything from “compostable” silverware to paper coffee cups. Plastic made from corn is not as sustainable as it may appear. GMO corn is typically used and taking corn out of the world’s food supply is elitist at best. So good thing P&G went a different route.

P&G will source the sugarcane-based plastic from Braskem SA, who manufactures the material using ethanol made from sustainably-grown Brazilian sugarcane. The process transforms sugarcane into high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, a type commonly used for product packaging. It remains 100% recyclable in existing municipal recycling facilities.

The beauty products will be rolled out globally over the next two years and are expected to be on shelves in 2011.

Now, P&G needs to work on the sustainability of the shampoo, conditioner and make-up inside the packaging as well.

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Image credit: martinroell via Flickr under a CC license

Written by Cindy Hoots

With more than 10 years experience working for a major Fortune 500 company, Cindy specializes in socially and environmentally responsible business strategies. She has developed successful corporate communications and stakeholder engagement strategies on contentious sustainability issues and has worked with a number of NGOs and activist organizations on how to effectively partner with multinational companies. Cindy frequently writes about topics ranging from what is corporate social responsibility to sustainable supply chain and measuring a company's environmental impact. She believes business plays a vital role in the health of our communities and our planet.


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