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NEW DELHI : Packaged consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever Ltd. on Tuesday said its popular detergent brand Surf Excel has transitioned to recyclable bottles made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic while using 100% biodegradable actives in its formulation.

The shift is applicable to the brand’s Surf Excel Matic Liquid bottle variant that was launched in 2016.

“Over time the business grew and so did its plastic footprint. To live by the clean future principles of the organisation, HUL partnered with Banyan Nation to innovate and create bottles that are less dependent on virgin plastic thereby reducing the net plastic generated," the company said in a release on Tuesday.

By the end of this year, the brand will cross an annual consumption of 900 tonnes of recycled plastic, it said.

Several studies have increasingly pointed to a consumer shift towards more sustainable brands. Companies are hence increasingly moving to sustainable packaging and sourcing.

Plastic waste continues to remain a large area of concern for companies.

“All innovations have a scorecard on various parameters and its positive impact on our clean future agenda is a key criterion to meet for it to move ahead in the organisation’s innovation funnel" Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director of Hindustan Unilever, said.

“If we don’t set higher standards for ourselves, we will not be able to meet the needs of the future generations. We take great pride in innovating to meet the consumers’ needs, some of these aren’t critical for the present but are key for the future. This innovation is yet another step in that direction," he said.

In July, HUL set up an in-store vending machine for its home care products that allow customers to refill bottles of Surf Excel, Comfort and Vim as the packaged consumer goods company seeks to lower plastic usage across the board. The first such machine was installed at the Reliance Smart Acme Mall in Mumbai as a pilot.

Meanwhile, Mani Kishore Vajipeyajula, CEO and co-founder of Banyan Nation said it is ensuring that the use of safe and high-quality recycled plastic becomes the norm in mainstream consumer products and packaging.

“HUL's alignment with our mission and unwavering commitment to sustainability has resulted in over 100 million bottles being made from Banyan Nation’s recycled granules and made available to consumers across India," Vajipeyajula said.

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