NIVEA sustainability, Recycle, Packaging, Ocean

Waste Reduction & Recycling

Waste Reduction & Recycling

Reducing waste across the world and making our skincare product packaging recyclable are at the very core of NIVEA’s sustainability goals. It’s incredibly important that we focus on these areas to help the environment and fight climate change.

No-waste skincare production


Early on, we made the commitment of “zero waste to landfill” – and we’ve accomplished this. “Zero waste to landfill” means that none of our established production centres sends waste to landfills. Instead, all waste is recycled or incinerated to create heat and electricity. This means that our production waste does not end up in the environment. From something to get rid of, waste is ideally turned into new material or a source of energy.

Cutting overall waste means less pollution and reduced consumption of valuable resources. That’s why we keep improving our planning and production processes in order to avoid waste wherever we can. For example, our beloved NIVEA tin. We used to source large, rectangular aluminium sheets from which we cut the tin sides, tops, and bottoms. In late 2017, we changed our process and switched to pre-cut aluminium parts. This saves 54g of aluminium scrap per sheet - a total of 14 tons of aluminium each year.

With less material to ship around and a reduction in the amount of waste that needs to be recycled, we have been able to make substantial cuts to our CO2 emissions. Reducing our carbon footprint at NIVEA is another crucial goal when it comes to sourcing and producing our skincare.

Sustainable Packaging

Our philosophy is that we want to make sure that everything about our products is sustainable – including the first thing you see of every NIVEA product: its package. Following the principle “avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle”, we use packaging that keeps your NIVEA products safely fresh while our impact on the environment gets gradually lower and lower.

Using less material for our packaging saves valuable resources and helps avoid waste. For instance, in 2016, we switched to lightweight tube caps in our hand creams - we saved about 50 tons of polypropylene in the first year alone. As early as 2013, we introduced refill packs like those for NIVEA Creme Soft shower cream or liquid soap. By refilling your NIVEA Creme Soft shower bottle from this pack instead of buying a new bottle you can save 75% waste.

Now - we’re launching our NIVEA Body Naturally Good body lotion in an extremely lightweight bottle that contains 50% less plastic compared to our regular NIVEA Body range. We have many more exciting sustainable skincare products in the pipeline which we can’t wait to share with you soon.

Recyclable & Recycled Skincare Packaging Material at NIVEA


We work toward a circular economy by increasing the use of recycled materials in our packaging. This helps NIVEA contribute to the Beiersdorf goal of using 30% of recycled material in its plastic packaging by 2025.



For example, our NIVEA Fresh Blends Shower Cream bottles offer up a biodegradable, vegan formula and are made of 97% recycled plastic.



And as part of Beiersdorf’s 2025 target, we are aiming for 100% recyclable, refillable or reusable packaging by that date.

Reducing Plastic Pollution

To make sure our products have as little impact on the environment as possible, we do everything we can to address potential issues immediately and effectively. Take microplastics as early as 2013, we decided to phase out plastic peeling particles made from polyethylene (microbeads) from our products. Two years later in 2015, all our formulas were microbead-free - well ahead of the UK government legislation ban on microbeads in 2018.

All our NIVEA rinse-off products, meaning shower gels and shampoos, are free of any microplastics according to the United Nations Environmental Program definition since 2019. Next, we are taking on nylon: we aim to remove all nylon in our leave-on formulas by the end of 2020.

These are just a few examples of what we’re achieving and how we’re reducing plastic pollution with our skincare products. Learn even more about what plastic pollution is and how NIVEA is reducing plastic pollution.

Keeping our oceans safe

We’re determined to keep our oceans clean and safe, by not only reducing plastic pollution but to exclude ingredients in our skincare products that can contain harmful chemicals to the ocean. None of our European sunscreen products contains the chemical UV filters oxybenzone and octinoxate. These are ingredients which are suspected to have significant harmful impacts on coral reefs in our oceans. We comply with the Hawaiian law which passed in 2018, which sets a ban of the use of these ingredients in sunscreen products.

Sustainability matters

At NIVEA, sustainability matters and our values and commitments are at the heart of everything we do. We are continuously looking at scientific research and assessing the ingredients we use in our products to better the environment. We are always looking at ways to further help the planet and have set ourselves ambitious sustainability goals