A French startup hopes to encourage less packaging with its customisable in-store dispensers
Spotted: The French startup Jean Bouteille is seeking to build a zero-waste system of distribution and consumption. The company provides grocery stores with self-service dispensers, organic liquid products and reusable and returnable bottles to help customers save on the use of packaging.
Jean Bouteille’s system uses refillable glass bottles, as these are more durable than plastic. Consumers buy the bottles at the store and fill them from in-store dispensers. These offer a selection of products that include wine, oil, vinegar, detergent, dish-washing liquid, soap, spirits, shampoo and even draft beer. Consumers can then reuse the bottles by bringing them to any store with a Jean Bouteille system and refilling them. Customers who no longer want the bottles can sell them back to a Jean Bouteille store, which will collect, clean and reuse them.
The system is currently in use in more than 450 stores in France and elsewhere in Europe. Customers are able to save on costs as well as packaging, but the system is also geared towards helping stores save money and increase sales. The company creates self-service bulk distribution fountains which can be adapted and customised to suit the needs of different stores.
According to Jean Bouteille, the company is hoping to contribute to the emergence of a zero-waste society with a vision that combines, “an economical and ecological mode of consumption,” with, “an innovative distribution method that reinvents the relationship with packaging.”
Excess packaging is a scourge and while many consumers would like to use less packaging, most find it difficult. At Springwise, we have seen a number of innovations in this space that aim to help reduce the packaging mountain. These include a kitchen gadget that adds flavour and carbonation to water, to replace plastic bottles of fizz and a delivery box that can be reused 1,000 times.