A soap company is sending customers reused dispenser bottles from other brands to raise awareness of the need to reuse
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Spotted: According to soap maker Gelo, a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute – and most of them end up in landfill. Gelo is doing what it can to address this: the company sells hand gel and refill pods, but now also offers Soap Bottle Salvage kits. These include a clean, empty bottle from another soap brand, all of which have to be rescued from the bin.
Gelo relies on friends and supporters to rescue bottles from the rubbish or send in empty bottles. The bottles are then cleaned and sanitised, before being packaged with a new label and a pouch of five soap refill pods. The pods are concentrated soap and completely dissolve in water – all that users have to do is pop one in the salvaged bottle and fill it with water. According to Gelo, this results in 97 per cent less packaging waste, compared to the same number of single-use plastic soap bottles.
While the Salvage Kits were a limited run and may not be repeated, there is no reason why individuals can’t salvage used bottles themselves – either from their own bins or someone else’s. In fact, Gelo’s entire model is based around saving on shipping bottles and water, so has no long term plans to continue shipping salvaged bottles. However, the company is in talks with local recycling centres and retailers to create a program where customers can trade in their old plastic soap bottles.
Gelo CEO and founder Curan Mehra says that “Part of Gelo’s DNA as a brand is really about promoting reuse and refill as an alternative to buying new plastic.” Although the company initially launched with a foaming hand-soap that required a special dispenser, its current liquid gel refills can be used with any regular soap pump. “There’s no reason to throw out stuff that’s good,” Mehra added.
At Springwise, we’re always on the lookout for innovative products that involve recycling or reusing materials in a novel way. Recently, we have covered reusable festival stalls that resemble giant Tinker Toys and a defunct airplane that was repurposed to help construct a new football stadium.
Written By: Lisa Magloff