Anglo-Dutch company Unilever has announced that the bottles for its Dove Body Wash will now contain at least 15% less plastic thanks to a new technology. MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Molding (EBM) was created in collaboration with two of the firm’s global packaging suppliers, ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. It uses gas injection to create bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, thereby reducing the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.

The technology will be deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, saving up to 275 tonnes of plastic a year. A full roll-out across every Unilever product could save up to 27,000 tonnes, the company said.

Unilever said it will waive specific exclusivity rights by January 2015 so that other manufacturers can start to use the technology. “There’s only so much that Unilever can achieve on our own,” said Paul Howells, Vice President R&D Packaging at Unilever. “By opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact.”