Kao launches sustainable packaging with hair care brand Guhl

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Kao launches sustainable packaging with hair care brand Guhl
In a sign that the Japanese beauty giant is keen to push forward its presence in Europe, Kao’s hair care brand in the region, Guhl, is tapping into rising demand for sustainable products.

Kao-owned hair care player Guhl, available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, has launched a new sustainable packaging, meaning its shampoo bottles now consist of 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), while the conditioner bottles are made of 100% polypropylene (PP) and are therefore fully recyclable.

By using 50% rPET in the Guhl shampoo bottles, Kao says it now saves more than 770 metric tons of CO2 annually.

Guhl is Kao's first brand in Europe to implement the company's renewed global sustainability strategy for greener packaging, which the global beauty giant has begun rolling out across its portfolio.

Kao says it strives to reduce the use of plastics in our product packaging as announced in its Philosophy and Actions on Plastic Packaging in October 2018. It will continue to innovate with its 4R program approach of Reduce, Replace, Reuse, and Recycle.

Avoiding sacrificing premium appeal

One of the challenges facing beauty and personal care brands looking to tap into the rising consumer and regulatory appetite for sustainable products and packaging is how to achieve this without compromising the quality of the product and brand, as some sustainable alternatives in the areas of both ingredients and packaging offer less functionality.

Kao suggests its new packaging launch manages to successfully avoid any compromise on quality.

"We wanted to use the highest possible percentage of rPET without having to accept inclusions or color distortions, which are otherwise common when using rPET," confirms Daniel Nebe, Team Leader Packaging Development at Kao EURL.

The company suggests: “Kao not only sets new standards for sustainable packaging in the European beauty market, but also in reconciling the sustainability and premium appeal of its products.”

With around 15 million Guhl shampoo bottles produced per year, Kao manages to save more than 770 metric tons of CO2, more than 520,000 liters of water and 180 metric tons of virgin PET by using rPET.

Daniel Nebe continues: "Regarding the conditioner bottle, we have made sure that all packaging components are made from one material and that they can be 100% recycled back into the material flow and thus reused instead of being thermally recycled."

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