As part of its Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has ambitious targets to reduce the impact of its packaging waste on the environment, including making its packaging more recyclable, using more recycled materials and reducing the weight of its packaging.

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important part of purchasing decisions with a third of consumers now choosing to buy brands based on their social and environmental impact, according to Unilever’s own research.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant is working on using lighter, stronger and better materials with a lower environmental impact, and reducing packaging through innovations that are not always visible.

One of such innovations by one of the company’s brands that has integrated sustainability into its purpose and products is an aluminium aerosol can for Dove antiperspirant.

The shaped aerosol can looks familiar but it is in fact 20 percent lighter, allows for 20 percent more cans per pallet, and offers a 20 percent reduction in truck and pallet movements.

This is made possible because the aerosol cans are made by the D&I process with beverage can stock instead of employing impact extruded aluminium slugs.

Moravia Cans makes the cans in the Czech Republic with technology by Mall//Herlan. Since 2016, Moravia has expanded its operation at Bojkovice with two further canmaking lines and the facility now features ten lines with total capacity of around 550 million aerosol cans a year.

Moravia says its philosophy has always been to lightweight its products below the competitor levels that are available in the market. The Dove shaped aluminium aerosol can of 45mm diameter weighs only 18 grams.

The development has just been recognised as the winner of the Can of the Year 2017. This is the first time since the canmaking awards were launched in 1996 that the overall prize is for an aerosol can. In this month’s issue, we reveal the winners in all the categories.

Mónica Higuera