Some of the most surprising solutions to reduce plastic have nothing to do with containers- it’s the products themselves that are changing.
Here are 4 product design trends we’re noticing aimed at reducing or eliminating the use of plastic altogether:
- Concentrate it:
Unilever* and other companies are working hard to create concentrates for their liquid products that use far less of everything, from plastic packaging to corrugate holders. Small packages with concentrates take up less space and contain reduced liquid volume by up to 3x. The entire product footprint from labour handling and trucks to transport delivers savings for the customer – and the planet.
- Dissolve it:
The technology in dish detergent pods today has a lot of legs. We should expect to see dissolvable sachets in all kinds of categories -sachets of wrapper-less shampoo and lotion concentrate ready for refillable bottles. NOHBO** is a biodegradable, single-use shampoo pod that is an example of this, just add water and you have your shampoo ready to lather. This technology can also apply to many single serve foods that come to life with water: hot chocolate, creamers and even pasta and oatmeal.
- Coat it:
Some products are just as good made a little crunchier. Signal*** didn’t believe that toothpaste had to come in a plastic tube. They added a crunchy coating to single-serve tooth paste tabs and are launching them soon in a reusable jar.
- Retro it:
The first soaps were made into bars, but somehow, we’ve ended up with a lot of it in liquid form in plastic pump bottles. For those who would rather deal with a soap dish than more plastic, there’s a movement back to solid bars that are wrapped in paper. Even shampoo bars will be found in showers of conscious consumers determined to be plastic free.
Where do you start with plastic reduction? Your product is a great place to begin.