Unilever pledges to cut fossil-fuel based ingredients from its cleaning products

Unilever has announced all of its brands worldwide will drop ingredients derived from fossil fuels used in its cleaning products.

Cleaning product (file picture). Source:

The consumer goods giant has invested almost $2 million into the clean-up strategy, saying it will be "better for the planet [and] better for consumers".

The first in New Zealand product to get the Green Futures overhaul is laundry detergent Persil. The new formulation, which has now hit shelves, took over six months to create, the company said in a statement.

The new formulation is now readily degradable and biodegradable, which means that it does not have an adverse effect to the water ecosystem.

Additionally, Persil bottles are made from 35 per cent recycled plastic in the 1 litre bottle, with plans to move to 50 per cent or more, and 25 per cent recycled material in the 2 litre bottle.

“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for our cleaning products in recent months and we are incredibly proud to play our part helping to keep people safe in the fight against Covid-19," says Peter ter Kulve, president of Unilever's home care division.

"But that should not be a reason for complacency. We cannot let ourselves become distracted from the environmental crises that our world – our home – is facing. Pollution. Destruction of natural habitats. The climate emergency. This is the home we share and we have a responsibility to protect it,” he said.

Unilever intends to replace 100 per cent of the carbon derived from fossil fuels in its home care formulations with renewable or recycled carbon by 2030.

The company also pledges net zero emissions from all cleaning products from cradle to shelf by 2039 and to halve its use of virgin plastic, ensuring all of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.