In an effort to highlight the wasteful nature of product packaging, Unilever brands will give readers a bundle of reusable wrapping paper for their own gifts.
Sustainable Wrapping Paper
Credit: Courtesy of Love Beauty and Planet / Unilever USA

There's no doubt about it: Single-use product packaging is a major issue for many industries, including the self-care and beauty industry, which contributes to landfills by using non-recyclable materials in the manufacturing processes. The issue is made worse during the holiday season; between Thanksgiving and New Year's, Americans dispose of 25 percent more trash than they do during any other time of the year, according to sustainability experts at Stanford University. But the teams at a few Unilever brands have decided to raise awareness around the issue by focusing on wrapping paper, a common add-on during the holidays: In a Sunday advertisement running in the New York Times, readers will be treated to recycling suggestions printed on special paper that can double as wrapping paper.

Per the same Stanford data, if each family chose to wrap three presents in recycled materials, it could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields during the holiday season. Two different Unilever brands—Love Beauty and Planet and Love Home and Planet—are highlighting that statistic by offering a novel approach to upcycling paper for formal gift wrapping this season. Their center-fold-out ad, which will include essential tips and tricks for household recycling, will be printed on specially designed paper that gift givers can use as wrap. "[The paper was inspired by] our shared love for the planet and the small acts each of us can do to help make it cleaner, greener, and more beautiful," Unilever officials told TreeHugger

The wrapping paper will be available in the main news section of the New York Times, in both local and national editions, this Sunday. The brands behind the advertisement are focused on sustainable practices and have previously committed to reducing their carbon footprint, which is a larger trend for many Unilever brands this year. According to Euromonitor International, a market research firm, the demand for plastic materials in beauty manufacturing has exceeded 150 billion units in 2018—and as many companies realize the scope of plastic pollution, more brands are seeking alternative, sustainable solutions in the coming decade.


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