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Watsons Pledges to Reduce Its Plastic Waste and Support the Use of Sustainable Palm Oil

Watsons, the flagship health and beauty brand of A.S. Watson Group, has announced to take on further responsibility for environmental sustainability by being the first health and beauty retailer to sign-up to the New Plastics Economy (NPE) Global Commitment to reduce plastic waste. It has also taken a membership with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to help address the environmental impact of palm oil.

With its long-term commitment towards sustainability, Watsons has been driving a wide range of sustainability initiatives across 13 Asian and European markets to strengthen two core goals to its 2030 Sustainability Roadmap – better waste management and more responsible Own Brand products.

Malina Ngai, Group COO of A.S. Watson Group and CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia & Europe), said, “We know our customers are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and therefore expect their chosen brands to share the same values as they do. As the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, we feel it is our responsibility to do MORE, so we are making a commitment to create a more sustainable environment and offer more sustainable product choices to our customers.”  

LESS Plastic, LESS Waste
A Complete Ban on PVC by 2030

By participating in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment initiative, Watsons will eliminate unnecessary plastic and to help reduce plastic pollution at the source.

To help tackle the serious issue of microplastic pollution, since 2014, A.S. Watson has banned the use of microplastics in its rinse-off Own Brand cosmetics/personal care scrub products. This ban extended to all Own Brand and consumer brand products sold in all stores by January 2020.

Watsons Hong Kong launched its Plastic Container Recycling Programme in 2015 to collect personal care plastic containers or water bottles at all stores to help customers make proactive steps to protect our environment. While Watsons Philippines is offering paper bags as the alternatives to plastic bags, Watsons Thailand also stopped proving plastic bag to customers since beginning of 2020.

In terms of packaging for its Own Brand products, by signing up the New Plastic Economy Commitment, Watsons has pledged that it will:

  • Eliminate unnecessary plastic by avoiding over-packaging and halving PVC use, with a complete ban on PVC by 2030
  • Use a minimum of 20% recycled plastic content in plastic packaging by 2025, if the supply of recycled plastic permits it
  • Promote packaging that is recyclable or reusable

Committed to Using More Sustainable Palm Oil

As part of its commitment to promote responsible Own Brand products, Watsons has taken a membership with the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, a leading organisation promoting social and environmental compliance in the palm oil industry. Watsons is currently reviewing its whole Own Brand portfolio to identify products that will be able to use RSPO certified palm oil by the end of 2021.

“Watsons is proud to enhance public awareness on sustainability issues by supporting two new important environmental initiatives. We are delighted to take the lead in our industry to become the first health and beauty retailer to join the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment. We hope that more retail groups can also make these meaningful pledges so that together we can make our planet more sustainable,” Ngai added.