Advil to reduce plastic waste through implementing new sustainable plastic technology

GSK Consumer Healthcare aims to reduce the plastic in all Advil bottles sold online and in store by 20 percent by 2022.

A bottle of Advil over the counter pain medication [Credit: Rajarajan Kannanb/].

[Credit: Rajarajan Kannanb/].

GSK Consumer Healthcare has announced its commitment to reduce the plastic in over 80 million Advil bottles by 20 percent.

The company stated that their initiative will result in nearly 500,000 pounds less of plastic in the environment and that, by 2022, Advil will have reduced the plastic in nearly all bottles available in stores and online. GSK stated that it has already begun transitioning Advil’s bottles to 20 percent less plastic.

To achieve its goal the enterprise will use a first-of-its-kind sustainable plastic technology for over the counter (OTC) medicines. The new barrier resin technology reduces the amount of resin required to mould and craft the bottles, which allows for a 20 percent reduction in material usage for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles, while maintaining the same barrier protection properties.

The new sustainability goal is part of GSK’s ambition for all consumer product packaging to be recyclable or reusable, including eliminating all problematic and unnecessary plastics when permitted, while ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of products, by 2025.

“As a world leader in pain relief, we at GSK are proud to transition Advil to a more environmentally friendly packaging, further supporting GSK’s commitment to sustainability,” stated Sarah McDonald, Vice President of Sustainability, GSK Consumer Healthcare. “With the new technology available to us, we saw this as an opportunity to invest in the future of our brands and sustainability goals. Advil’s switch to 20 percent less plastic is a first in the OTC category and kicks off a series of plastic reduction initiatives across the product portfolio at GSK.”

As part of its 2025 sustainability goals the company joined the Ellen MacArthur Network in 2020, and it is the requirements set by this Foundation that are leading its focus on plastics and packaging. It also joined the Action for Sustainable Derivatives (ASD), which aims to increase the transparency and traceability of palm oil derivatives supply chains, and last year announced ambitious new environmental sustainability goals in both climate and nature, aiming to have a net zero impact on climate and a net positive impact on nature by 2030.

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