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Packaging Replaces Plastic With Pulp

Packaging Replaces Plastic With Pulp

Procter & Gamble has replaced 57 percent of the plastic in its packaging for the Gillette Fusion razor with moldable plant based pulp. And, the company has pledged a major commitment to coming up with sustainable materials and eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is common in clamshell and blister packaging.

The new Fusion ProGlide clamshell's outer packaging and razor tray combination not only has less plastic, it also now weighs 20 percent less than the original Fusion packaging did, and eliminates 100 percent of PVC.

The move comes as part of Procter & Gamble's ongoing sustainability efforts, which include incorporating 100-percent renewable or recycled materials into all of its products and packaging. The moldable plant-based pulp is made of fibrous materials, such as bamboo, sugar cane, and bulrush, by Be Green Packaging, which designs and makes compostable, moldable fiber pulp packaging.

The new razor package design reportedly withstands compression, sealing and opening forces, and doesn't add cost to consumers. Although the amount of PVC in the packaging materials previously was low, the redesign has completely eliminated it. The new packaging, which debuted in Western Europe last year, will appear in the US sometime during the first half of 2012. The revised packaging has already received an award for innovative redesign in DuPont's Awards for Packaging in 2011.

Be Green Packaging states that its blend of plant fibers are Cradle-to-Cradle Certified, BPI Certified, and Certified Recyclable by Western Michigan University. The company's pulping technologies can be used with both mechanical and chemical pulping methods. The fibers it uses include bulrush, kenaf, wheatstraw, bamboo, rice, and bagasse, which are all non-food crops that grow in the wild. The company has facilities in China and South Carolina.

Getting sharp draft angles has long been a challenge for designers and engineers working with moldable pulp. Be Green says it can execute draft angles of under 2 degrees, making it possible to create containers and packaging with as sharp lines as the Gillette clamshell and tray.

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