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Huggies announces plans to eliminate plastic from baby wipe range.

Huggies Extra Care ©Huggies.

“We know that parents are becoming more environmentally conscious, but we also know that they need an affordable and convenient solution that is gentle on their baby’s skin.”

Baby and childcare product specialist Huggies has claimed that it has become the first well-known baby wipe brand to announce plans to completely eliminate plastic from its baby wipe range in the UK over the next five years.

According to the company, 14.8 billion baby wipes are used in the UK every year, equating to 468 every second, many of which contain a significant amount of plastic, resulting in a negative impact on the environment.

Huggies plans to make changes to its materials this year and these changes will form part of a long-term strategy to eliminate plastic in Huggies wipes.

Over the next five years, the brand will:

  • Launch new 100% recyclable packaging across the Huggies portfolio which can be recycled at large supermarkets with film and carrier bags (next year)
  • Transition to a fully sustainable wipe and packaging portfolio (over the next five years)

According to the brand, it already uses up to 50% less plastic in its wipes than other leading brands and is now going even further to help parents reduce their plastic usage with an action plan that will have removed 50 tonnes of plastic from its products by the end of 2019 alone. This includes:

  • Removing excess packaging from inside larger multipacks (12 and 18 packs) – equivalent to 43 tonnes of plastic per year
  • Removing 17 tonnes of plastic per year from the Huggies Extra Care range through innovative product development

In addition, the brand, which is part of WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact, is aiming to be the first leading baby wipe brand to clearly label the plastic content of its wipes on pack.

In a statement, Huggies said that its ‘Tiniest Footprint’ mission represents a “bold move towards a future of sustainable skincare for babies and is welcome news for parents who rely on these wipes as an everyday childcare essential”.

The company has embarked on a new action plan, working with world-leading universities and environmental organisations to develop a fully sustainable alternative, it said.

Ori Ben Shai, Vice President & Managing Director Kimberly-Clark UK, said: “We know that parents are becoming more environmentally conscious, but we also know that they need an affordable and convenient solution that is gentle on their baby’s skin.

“We’ve already made headway and are proud to offer an alternative which has a lower environmental impact than other leading brands, but we won’t stop until we have found a fully sustainable solution as we believe no parent should have to compromise between caring for their baby and caring for the environment.

“Whilst we work on this solution, parents can make a difference today by switching to Huggies and reducing their plastic usage by the equivalent of 63 plastic bottles a year.”

Presenter and model, Vogue Williams, added: “When faced with a dirty nappy, my main priority is cleaning up the mess as quickly as possible with a wipe I know won’t aggravate my baby’s skin. I’m always keen to do my bit for the environment, so I’m grateful that Huggies are addressing the issue by working towards an eco-friendly alternative. In the meantime, I can reduce my impact today without it costing the earth.”

If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the one below.

Read: Project focus: How BBI JU is helping businesses to repurpose waste to drive new circular economic models.

Read: Project Focus: Moving Europe’s mountain of nappies from landfill to helping create useful bio-based products.

Read: Project Focus: Converting dairy by-products into high value bio-based chemicals.

Read:  Project focus: How a bio-based solution can solve our plastic tray problem.

Read: Forest-based biomass industry: Where are we today and where are going tomorrow?

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