Here’s an interesting development in the always-exciting world of liquid laundry detergent packaging design:

As reported by USA TODAY, Seventh Generation has debuted liquid laundry detergent bottles made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and newspaper. Although the bottle for 4X Laundry Detergent isn’t completely plastic-free — there’s a plastic pouch inside of the molded 70 percent recycled cardboard/30 percent recycled newspaper shell that holds the liquid detergent as well as a plastic cap — Seventh Generation claims that the revamped bottle uses 66 percent less plastic than standard detergent jugs. The cardboard/newspaper shell can be recycled or composted while the plastic bag and cap can be recycled in some areas. Essentially, Seventh Generation has brought the boxed wine concept to eco-friendly detergents.

The last time I blogged about innovative laundry detergent packaging, it was a post on totally bottle-less Berry+. That particular product (I had the chance to test drive Berry+ a couple weeks back at my local laundromat and I’m pretty much head over heels in love) involves individual “doses” of super-concentrated, 99.8 percent natural laundry soap housed inside of a lightweight recyclable clamshell container. While Seventh Generation isn’t totally abandoning the bottle concept for something more radical like Berry+, the recycled/recyclable cardboard/newspaper design is certainly a step in the right direction.

Julie Corbett of Ecologic Brands, the company that makes the new bottle, tells USA TODAY: "If you change too much, you can end up scaring consumers from buying it."

To start, only one-quarter of Seventh Generation’s liquid laundry detergent bottles will incorporate the new design (I assume this means just the new 4X Laundry Detergent line and no other Seventh Generation liquid laundry products with have the new bottles). If consumers aren’t too scared off, the company will up the production of these new, mostly non-plastic bottles.

4X Laundry Detergent bottles contain 50 ounces of ultra-concentrated plant-based detergent that’s good for up to 66 laundry loads. It will be available in Free & Clear and Geranium Blossom & Vanilla varieties. The cost? $12.99 to $14.99. 

I haven’t yet had the chance to test out Seventh Generation 4X Laundry Detergent but can’t wait to get my hands on it. How do you think you’ll act when you see a recycled cardboard/newspaper bottle of Seventh Generation laundry detergent at a retailer near you? Will you opt for the standard plastic bottle out of habit or do you think you'll give this new design a try? 

Via [USA TODAY], [7Gen blog]

Images: Seventh Generation

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Greenie in a bottle: Seventh Generation 4X Laundry Detergent
The liquid-in-a -plastic-bag-inside-of-a-recyclable-box concept made popular with wine extends to liquid laundry detergent bottle design with Seventh Generation