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Greenpeace rebrands Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ as ‘Real Harm’ as it exposes plastic pollution

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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

November 30, 2023 | 4 min read

A comically large Dove bottle printed with ‘real harm’ and a dead bird sits before Unilever’s global HQ, alerting onlookers about the brand’s plastic pollution and urging the corporation to ditch single-use plastics.

greenpeace 'dove' campaign

Greenpeace juxtaposes Dove's claims of "real beauty" with the "real harm" its products cause in the enviroment / Credit: Greenpeace

Greenpeace, a renowned global environmental campaigning network, has today unveiled an initiative targeted squarely at Dove’s environmentally devastating plastic use in front of the Unilever World Headquarters in London.

The initiative, ideated with indie design agency Pentagram, presents passersby with a redesigned Dove bottle that switches out the brand’s iconic blue and white bird logo for a dramatic, black and white bird lying deceased, alongside a ‘Real Harm’ strapline in the place of ‘Real Beauty.’

Greenpeace OOH work

Dove, long hailed for championing women and girls and whose senior figures have claimed it is “one of the brands making the biggest impact against plastic waste,” now faces allegations of contributing to plastic pollution on an alarming scale.

Images released by Greenpeace depict Dove plastic waste polluting waterways and beaches in Indonesia and the Philippines. Meanwhile, figures released by Greenpeace International suggest that Dove sold a staggering 12,000 plastic sachets per minute in 2022 alone.

These sachets, widely promoted in countries of the global south, are difficult to collect and recycle, and have clogged drains and exacerbated flooding throughout the region.

Greenpeace plastic investigation photos

Greenpeace’s campaign calls on Unilever, Dove’s parent company, to eliminate single-use plastic from its operations within the next decade, starting with plastic sachets.

Additionally, Greenpeace urges Unilever to advocate for a treaty that reduces plastic production by at least 75% by 2040 at the UN Global Plastics Treaty negotiations, which are currently in their third session.

Anna Diski, a plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, commented on the campaign, stating, “Behind Dove’s squeaky clean public image lies a true story of real harm. Despite telling the world it cares about people and the planet, it’s pumping out a devastating amount of damaging single-use plastic every single minute.”

Diski continued: “Its professed values run totally counter to the reality that it’s pushing some of the worst plastic pollution, sachets, on to communities least able to cope with this overwhelming waste. And often it’s the women and girls Dove claims to champion who are left to handle the impacts of this waste. Our new campaign and its bold, striking design bring this reality into the full glare of the sunlight so the world can see and push the brand and its owners to change.”

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