Reportedly the first sustainable plastic technology initiative of its kind for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs was launched by the maker of Advil, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Warren, NJ. The company aims to reduce the plastic in over 80 million bottles by 20%, resulting in a reduction of nearly 500,000 pounds of plastic in the environment. The transition is expected to be complete by 2022 for almost all bottles in the Advil portfolio available in stores and online.
This barrier technology uses a nucleating agent that is dosed into the blow molding quality of HDPE during the manufacturing process, similar to the dosing of the white dye, according to the vp sustainability of GSK, Sarah McDonald.
When asked how the company can achieve the 20% material reduction while retaining the barrier protection properties, she said: “The addition of the nucleating agent, combined with the accuracy of material distribution that can be achieved with compression blow molding, enables us to process the material while maintaining the barrier properties . “
According to McDonald, the new material has slightly different processing properties, but it can be processed on existing extrusion, injection and blow molding systems.
Advil’s new sustainability goal is part of GSK’s ambition that all consumer product packaging is recyclable or reusable, including the elimination of all problematic and unnecessary plastics where permitted, while ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of its products by 2025, “As the global leader in pain relief, we at GSK are proud to be converting Advil to more environmentally friendly packaging, thereby further supporting GSK’s commitment to sustainability. With the new technology available to us, we saw this as an opportunity for the future Our brands and sustainability goals Advil’s move to 20% less plastic is a first in the OTC category and launches a number of plastic reduction initiatives across GSK’s product portfolio.
The focus on plastics and packaging is based on the leading requirements of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. GSK joined the Ellen MacArthur Network in 2020 and is committed to doing its part to mobilize change towards a circular economy for plastics.
As part of its commitment to sustainability in 2025, GSK has also joined the campaign for sustainable derivatives (ASD), which aims to increase the transparency and traceability of the supply chains of palm oil derivatives. In cooperation with ASD, GSK has introduced the Sustainable Palm Index (SPI), an evaluation scorecard for suppliers of palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives, which is intended to support procurement decisions.
In addition, last year GSK announced ambitious new ecological sustainability goals for the climate and nature, with the aim of achieving net zero impacts on the climate and net positive impacts on nature by 2030.