NIVEA uses sustainable plastic packaging as part of its sustainability goals and principles

How NIVEA works on more sustainable plastic packaging

We believe in continuous improvement at NIVEA. That’s why we take steps towards providing the most sustainable skincare in everything that we do – whether it’s improving our product formulas or the way in which we manufacture and package our skincare products.


As part of our mission to protect the planet and communities around the world, we have committed ourselves to reducing our carbon footprint, saving energy and reducing waste. A significant part of this undertaking involves the steps that we have taken in recent years to intensively optimise our product packaging according to four sustainability principles: avoiding, reducing, reusing, and recycling.

What is plastic pollution?

The term ‘plastic pollution’ refers to the build-up of plastic in the Earth's environment that negatively impacts humans, wildlife and habitats. The large amounts of plastic that are to be found in our oceans represent one of the most serious environmental problems of our time. Plastic can take up to five hundred years to disappear, during which time it can pose a serious threat to a wide range of marine species.

We’ll look at the ways in which NIVEA has reduced the problems caused by microplastics and plastic packaging - and how NIVEA will continue to cut back on plastic pollution.

How we’re reducing plastic pollution

The steps that we have taken in recent years to reduce our plastic pollution fall into two categories: the steps that we have taken to reduce plastics in i) our products and ii) our packaging.

Reducing the amount of plastic in our skincare products

What are microplastics?

There is no internationally-binding definition for the term ‘microplastics’, but we follow the definition provided by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): solid, water-insoluble plastic particles that are 5 millimetres or smaller and are not biodegradable.

Microplastics are believed to have a profound impact on both aquatic ecosystems and the lives of human beings, with ingested microplastic particles believed to damage internal organs, affect blood pressure and cause diseases, including cancer. Microbeads are a type of microplastic: they are small plastic particles made from polyethylene (PE) that pose an environmental hazard to aquatic animals and human beings due to their ability to absorb toxic chemicals and enter the food chain.

Tackling microplastics

At NIVEA, we have distinguished ourselves in the fight to reduce microplastic pollution, with both an impressive track record in reducing this pollution across the board and ambitious plans for the future.

In 2013 we made the decision to phase out microbeads from our cleaning body care products. Since 2015, all of NIVEA’s formulas have been microbead-free - well ahead of the UK ban on microbeads that was passed in 2018. Our rinse-off products have been free of microplastics since 2019, with the aim that all of our products will be completely free of microplastics by 2021. We are also committed to eliminating nylon ingredients from our leave-on formulas by the end of 2020.

These changes have demonstrated that, with the right attitude and a determination to succeed, NIVEA can lead the way in phasing out microplastics. The good news is that you can do your bit, too - choosing to recycle and switching to plastic-free wipes are small, easy changes that you can make to reduce your plastic waste.

Reducing the amount of plastic in our packaging



There are a number of ways in which NIVEA has reduced, and plans on reducing, the amount of plastic used in the packaging of our products.


The launch of our Naturally Good Body Lotion range, which comes in a bottle that is made out of 50% less plastic than regular NIVEA Body products, is just one example of how substantial reductions in plastic are being made across the board.

Beyond simply reducing the amount of plastic used in our packaging, we are looking to reduce our environmental impact by using packaging which is recyclable and makes use of recycled material. 



We knew that being sustainable meant doing things differently from the ground up. So we put everything under the microscope before deciding on the new bottle we have today.

*** 50% less plastic vs same size NIVEA Body Milk bottle with cap.


A journey of passion and persistence. Our path towards doing our bit for a better planet.

Using packaging which is recyclable

A significant proportion of NIVEA packaging can already be recycled, but we are committed to continually improving our products:

We are committed to 100% of our packaging being refillable, reusable or recyclable by 2025, with on-pack recycling labelling (OPRL) being introduced across our entire range:

We are seeking to make as much of our packaging as recyclable as possible. One way in which we intend to do this is by swapping our black plastic packaging for NIR (Near infra-red) black plastic.

  • NIR black plastic comes with light-reflecting pigmentation, which means that it can be detected by sorting machines at recycling centres
  • We aim for all black NIVEA products to be NIR-detectable by the end of 2020

Using recycled material in our packaging

We also aim to use 30% recycled material in plastic packaging by 2025, which should help deliver a 50% reduction in fossil-based virgin plastic. Here are some examples of this plan in action:

  • The bottle for the new NIVEA facial cleansing oil contains 25% recycled PET (excluding the pump)

  • Our Fresh Blends bottles for use in the shower are made from 97% recycled PET (excluding the cap)

Our commitment to sustainability

At NIVEA, we truly believe that the needs of our customers are paramount, but in order to do this, we also need to help ensure that the world that you inhabit becomes safer, cleaner and greener. This is why we’re working hard to ensure that the ingredients in our products are sustainably sourced and do not cause harm to the environment

You can count on NIVEA to seek out ingredients from sources that are renewable where possible, as we are committed, when making decisions regarding new and existing products, to do so with an eye to the solution that is best for our planet.