Every Little Helps – Or Hinders………..

By Bernie Bell

I thought I’d share something with Orkney News readers. It’s something which might show that it is always worth taking action, even on a small scale. It also shows that sometimes there is an explanation for apparently pointless single use plastic – but the explanation might not be enough to justify the use.

I have used Pears soap for some years.  I like the smell of it, as it brings back memories of childhood – not as far back as the ‘Bubbles’ advert! https://www.flickr.com/photos/40714068@N08/6263302583  But it does have pleasant associations, for me.  

It used to come in a light cardboard box – no problem – then, the manufacturers started to include a flimsy, single use plastic wrapper.  This niggled me – but, for some reason, I only decided to do something about it when unwrapping a bar of Pears soap recently, got me thinking…. 

I wrote to the British distributors, saying ……..


I have used Pears soap for many years, and would like to continue to do so.

However, I don’t see why the bar of soap isn’t just placed in the light cardboard box, which is re-cycle-able.

The inner, single use plastic wrapper is pointless, and adds to the mountain of single use plastic which the world is rapidly disappearing under.

Could your company please,  please consider leaving out the plastic wrapper, and just placing the soap in the cardboard box?

I would then feel a lot happier about continuing to use Pears soap.

It would also, surely, save you money?

Thank you

Mrs. B. Bell


I received a very prompt reply……

“Good afternoon Mrs Bell,

I have asked Unilever International about the need for the plastic wrap recently and their response was as follows:

The plastic wrap was introduced when the soap was reformulated back in 2009, more glycerine was added to the formulation to improve moisturising content. Glycerine attracts moisture so the wrap was put in place to help prevent moisture in the air sticking to the bar. Unilever want the bar to reach consumers in a perfect state and currently this means as soon as its produced, once it is checked, they want to seal it before it reaches the recyclable cardboard box.  As this is a process done in a factory this is how they can ensure product standards with no dust being accumulated onto the product from the lines it is produced on.

They are reviewing other options on this to see what can be done going forward, in other factories or potentially via other machines to make the process more sustainable.

They are reviewing their use of plastic across their whole range, we all want Pears to be as sustainable as possible.

I will ensure your comments are passed on to Unilever International.

Kind regards

Cert Brands Ltd. The Turbine Business Centre, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Worksop, Notts, S81 8AP”

I answered……

“Good afternoon, and thank you for your prompt response, which does explain the presence of the plastic wrapper!

I hope that they can find an alternative.  In these times, that bit of single use plastic – just won’t do.

Why not simply reduce the glycerine level again?

Meanwhile, I think I will change  to something with less environmental impact.

Thank you for your help.

Bernie Bell”

And that’s what I intend to do – find a soap which is gentle on my skin, and which is wrapped in something re-cycle-able or bio-degradable.

Every little bit can help to help the environment – or help to damage it.

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4 replies »

  1. One starfish at a time, and thanks, Bernie, for taking the time to respond to their response/explanation. The world is full of possibilities and choices. Good luck with your pleasing soap hunt – some good Scottish and Palestinian (olive oil doesn’t smell as good as Pears) ones. Rosie

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