Ecover was born from seeing first-hand the devastating effect that phosphates from laundry and dishwashing products were having on aquatic life.

Now we’ve got an arguably bigger challenge on our hands – facing up to the world’s over-reliance on single-use plastic. In 2016, less than half of all plastic bottles were collected for recycling and only 7% of those were turned into new bottles [Source: The Guardian, A million bottles a minute: world’s plastic binge ‘as dangerous as climate change’, June 2017]. The resulting impact on waterways and marine life is, to put it bluntly, horrifying – with an estimated 12.7 million tonnes ending up in oceans each year.


We want to be a role model to show the way forward for manufacturers like us to use better, more sustainable types of plastic and reduce our ‘plastic footprint’. To do this, we need to work out how to ‘close the loop’ by recovering and reusing as much packaging as possible and not let it go to waste. And we’re stepping up our efforts to find new biodegradable materials so we can move away from plastic altogether.

“Ecover needs to totally rethink plastic. Today we are making public our long-term ambition to stop using virgin plastic. It may take us several years, but it is an important goal for us and the planet.”

Tom Domen, Long Term Innovation Manager at Ecover


We’re on a journey towards closing the loop. You can select the different parts of the loop to read a little more about how we’re doing it.

minimising the use of plastic in the home
designing to be 100% recyclable
turning ocean plastic waste into a valuable resource
pioneering ocean friendly packaging
using recycled content only - no virgin plastic
moving from less to zero plastic solutions

Since 1989, we’ve been encouraging people to reuse their containers and buy refill cartons rather than buying new plastic each time they run out. Our bottles can now be used more than 50 times, and refillable from many health food stores using our 15 litre refill carton. In 2016 we sold over 1.5m litres of Ecover refills across Europe and we are aiming to sell 10% more each year by making them easier to use and more widely available with our retailers.


    We want to make it as easy as possible to recycle our bottles. Ever wondered why we do not use bright colours in our bottles? It’s not that we’re boring, it’s because transparent or white plastic is easier to recycle than the fancy coloured stuff (which can be difficult to re-dye to another colour).


    We’ve been using recycled materials since 2007 when we began using fully recycled cardboard for our paper packaging. Then in 2014 we started making most of our bottles from a mix of 25% recycled plastic and 75% PlantPlastic. Since launching our Ocean Bottle project in 2014, we’ve also reclaimed more than 11 tonnes of plastic from oceans, beaches, canals and waterways, raising awareness about the environmental consequences of plastic pollution. And this year, we’re taking an even bigger step, with the launch of our first 100% recycled plastic bottle from post-consumer waste (called PCR).


    When it comes to taking a stand on the big issues, we’re not shy about acting on our instincts. In 2014, our first limited edition Ocean Washing Up Liquid Bottle was made from 10% plastic collected by North Sea fishermen, and 90% recycled plastic (PCR). In 2017, we launched a new bottle made from 50% plastic waste collected from the beaches, shores and ocean of Rio, and 50% recycled plastic (PCR).


    In 2011, we launched our first 100% recyclable, reusable plastic bottle made from renewable sugarcane and not petroleum. We call this PlantPlastic – an innovative type of plastic that reduces the bottle’s carbon footprint by about 70% compared to virgin petroleum-based plastic, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Now most of our bottles use 75% PlantPlastic and 25% recycled plastic. All of the sugarcane we use to make our PlantPlastic is certified through Bonsucro, ensuring that the sugarcane was harvested responsibly.


    We are always reassessing how we can improve our packaging and reduce the amount of materials we use. For our Ocean Washing Up Liquid Bottle, we worked with a biomimicry expert to reduce the amount of plastic used compared to the same bottle without the biomimicry design. This resulted in a distinctive design inspired by the lightweight yet robust skeletal structure found in many ocean micro-organisms.

  • Our Clean Plastic Goals

    We’ve made an ambitious set of new goals to do what we can to help stop plastic pollution.

    Our New Bottle

    Introducing our new Washing Up Liquid bottle. Made from 100% recycled, fully recyclable plastic.

    Double fist bump.


    So that’s Clean Plastic.

    When we say we live and breathe clean, we mean it. From the way we do business to how we source our ingredients to out war on ocean plastic – it’s all about finding new ways to put our clean values into practice. Even if it’s going to take a while to get there. Check out what we’re doing below.

    Clean business

    Being good to the planet and the people we work with is just as important to us as the bottom line.

    Clean plastic

    We’re waging war on single-use plastic. And we’re aiming to make all our bottles from recycled plastic by 2020.

    Clean water

    Our original phosphate-free formula helped clean the world’s waterways. Now we’re on the case to use less water, full stop.

    Clean sourcing

    We’re making our supply chain more responsible. Like buying local when we can, and using suppliers who share our values.

    Clean ingredients

    You get out what you put in. Which is why most of our ingredients are made of biodegradable plant-derived substances.

    Clean fragrances

    We use fragrances that are designed to smell natural, fresh and wonderful – not overpower you with toxic chemicals.

    Clean manufacturing

    First we built the world’s most ecologically sound factory. Next stop: a zero-waste, zero-carbon footprint.

    Clean design

    We believe that packaging design can have a positive impact on people and the planet.