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Dove Incentivizes People To Recycle Their Plastic


Unilever (Dove’s parent brand) installed a vending machine in NYC’s Grand Central Station that accepts used plastics as payment for a bottle of body wash.

This campaign is called “Proud of What We’re Made Of” and allows visitors to deposit a piece of used plastic in the vending machine and out pops a bottle of Dove Body Wash in new recycled plastic packaging.

To reduce its use of virgin plastics, Dove now uses bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. 


 The vending machine is made from wood and aluminum and powered by a solar-charged lithium-ion battery. 

The campaign is also part of part company Unilever’s corporate goal to reduce virgin plastic packaging by half by 2025, and collect and process more plastic than it sells.

Here Is How It Works


Consumers insert a used plastic item into the left side of the pre-stocked machine, activating a colorful light show, then the right side of the machine dispensed a full bottle of body wash.  More than 2,000 people have donated used plastic items that the brand recycled post-event.

Why Do You Care?

This movement by Unilever to use less plastic was inspired by nonprofit Break Free from Plastic’s 2019 Brand Audit, which found the company to be the fifth highest plastic polluter during a global ocean clean-up, with 3,328 pieces of its plastic found in 21 countries.

“Plastic has its place, but that place is not in the environment. We can only eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the plastic cycle. Our starting point has to be design, reducing the amount of plastic we use, and then making sure that what we do use increasingly comes from recycled sources. We are also committed to ensuring all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.”

Alan Jope

CEO, Unilever


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As the mother of four children, including a set of triplets, it is important to me that my family all honor the earth, giving back and preserving the health of our oceans by making small changes in everyday life. Since beginning Ocean Junkies, my entire family has a new conscious awareness of using plastic straws and utensils in restaurants and how it’s related to the trash we see on the beach. It is my hope that through Ocean Junkies and other wonderful activist websites, we can raise awareness about plastic pollution and increase sustainable living by re-using what we have already created and creating from biodegradable and compostable materials.


Founder, Ocean Junkies

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