Retail category - household & personal care

Every year the household and personal care (HPC) category produces approximately 230,000 tonnes of packaging.  A wide variety of packaging materials are used for these products but most are in plastic bottles (HDPE, PET or PP) and use laminates for cartons and pouches which can make the recycling process tougher.

Scope for making efficiencies

Over the years, the HPC sector has developed many new and innovative products and has led the way in introducing concentrated formulations, resulting in smaller packs, as well as refillable packs and set doses.

However, there is still huge potential for further product and packaging optimisation, greater use of recycled materials and innovative product developments.

WRAP is working in collaboration with the sector and the supply chain, on a number of initiatives to look at making further packaging and waste efficiencies.

Supporting the retail supply chain

Key work includes:

  • researching in-store self-dispensing systems (read about award winning laundry liquid trial); 
  • introducing more concentrates to reduce pack size, e.g. fabric conditioners;
  • encouraging the use of recycled content in packaging;
  • promoting recycling through On pack recycling labelling;
  • using more set/measured dosage technologies to reduce product wastage, e.g. dishwasher tablets; and
  • developing more refillable packs.

The Courtauld Commitment is helping to deliver on this work and includes some product case studies of interest.

Helping the consumer

WRAP is encouraging consumers to recycle more HPC packaging, particularly bathroom products where recycling rates are lower.  This is being done through the use of clearer On pack labelling.   See the Recycle Now consumer programme.


The recycling swoosh tells consumers how to dispose of the product.  If you have used recycled content (r-PET) in the packaging - tell your customers on the product label as it does enhance brand value.

Research, Case Studies and Trials 

See award winning 2010 trial on in-store dispensing systems for laundry liquids.