By Providing Deodorant And Face Cream Refills Big Manufacturers Aim To Cut Waste


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By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

As environmental issues are concerning the regular masses nowadays, many consumer companies have come forward with a new project. Caught under the pressure of cutting down on environmental waste, The Body Shop, Procter & Gamble and Unilever are bringing about a change: their new products will now be available in refillable varieties. 

P&G, which has an annual turnover of around $68 billion, declared that they are have spent over millions to come up with the new categories of refillable products. It started by offering refill pouches on Olay face cream jars on It is planning on expanding the sale of these pouches by the coming year in Europe. 

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Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos SA’s The Body Shop has planned to place refill stations globally in all of its stores. This will enable the customers to purchase reusable containers to fill The Body Shop’s creams, gels and the like. In the 90s, The Body Shop used to offer refills but it was not a hit among customers and had to be discontinued in 2003.

Along with the target of plastic reduction and recycling by 2025, Unilever introduced refillable deodorant sticks and other daily care products on the site The recycling company named TerraCycle operates this website which also delivers the products of your choice to your doorsteps. 

Irrespective of such initiatives, the general human tendency has been such where the masses preferred disposable products more than the refillable pouches available at much lower prices. It’s a product of the throwaway culture. Therefore, customer responses cannot be analyzed as it gives mixed results. 

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However, the marketer of the Windex and Pledge, SC Johnson & Son Inc, mentioned how the refill products have been a failure over the last decade. A similar case happened in 2010 when Unilever, in association with the British supermarket chain named Asda, had put tanks measuring 20 liters to dispense detergents and provide flexible pouches to the customers for a refill. There were various maintenance and safety problems with leaky machines, high expenses and space issues of the tanks caused the failure of the initiative.

The CEO of SC Johnson, Fisk Johnson said that the failure of the refill business arises from the fact that people generally find it an extremely lengthy process of washing the product containers and refilling the product. However, in the wake of plastic waste concerns, these companies are again taking the risk of introducing refillable products considering the degrading environmental conditions. 

There is still a risk, or a loss, with the introduction of a refill of beauty products like Olay cream and Pantene shampoo since for these products, looks and packaging attract the customers. However, the recent tweets of customers to bring back The Body Shop’s refill counters have motivated these companies to restart the earlier project.

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At this hour when the environment is at its climate emergency, this initiative can add on to the anti-plastic drive globally. This can be called as a great step towards diminishing the present environmental problems.


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