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Seventh Generation PCR Plastic Cap

At Seventh Generation, we’re on a mission to nurture the health of the next seven generations. To get there, we’re always pushing ourselves to innovate so that our products and our company are as sustainable as we can make them—keeping people and planet in mind every step of the way. Recently, we’ve been hard at work on a new innovation that we’re excited to share: a first-in-kind[1] recycled cap for our dish soap bottles.

At this point, you may be asking: what is so exciting about a dish soap cap? Well, we’ve been hard at work making progress towards our goal to have all our products and packaging be 100% biobased or post-consumer recycled content—and to eliminate our use of virgin plastic. Our new 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) dish soap cap gets us even closer. Our new dish liquid caps are not only made different, they look different, too. It may not come as much of a surprise, though, to learn that the new caps—many of them made from recycled plastic clothes hangers—are a lovely shade of our favorite color, green.

As a company, we’ve always believed in the use of PCR plastics, which are vital to helping us reduce our overall environmental impact. That’s because PCR plastics are made from existing plastics and cut out the need for brand new, or “virgin” plastics to be used. Virgin plastics are harder on the environment since they require more fossil fuels to manufacture[2]. We’ve strived to be an industry leader on this issue as we progress toward 100% PCR use in our products.

In looking at plastic use around the world, the introduction of our PCR dish cap feels pretty timely. After all, some estimates say that by 2020, half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold per year[3]—that’s a lot of plastic caps! Additionally, recent studies reveal that a whopping 91% of plastic is not recycled[4]. Though we know it will take a collaborative effort from like-minded brands and conscious consumers like you, we believe every step to nurture the health of our planet helps. Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein is excited that our new dish liquid caps “will make a big impact on reducing the footprint of our dish soap, and we hope, will also set a new standard for the industry.”

Since PCR plastic has a different chemistry than virgin plastic and responds differently to daily use, a new approach was needed to achieve the same flip-top convenience consumers are used to in their dish soap. That’s why we partnered with TricorBraun, a trusted leader in innovative packaging design, and designed our new cap specifically to be built from PCR plastic.

Still, our goal is always to make products your family can depend on and trust. So, to make sure our new cap could stand up to the needs of a busy household, we rigorously tested it beside a cap made from virgin plastic during the development process. We were thrilled to find it performed just as well, putting to bed “the myth that PCR materials won’t work as well as their virgin plastic counterparts,” says Seventh Generation Senior Packaging Engineer, Jerica Young. And when you pop open that new green cap, you can feel good knowing that the same biodegradable, grease-fighting formula you know and love in our dish liquid is ready to help tackle your dinner dishes.

It’s important to us that we continue to innovate and drive toward sustainability, both in and outside of our products. We hope you’ll love the new look of our dish soap bottles as much as we do.

[1] Excluding colorant and label