Date
April 11, 2021
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Product designer Jonna Breitenhuber created SOAPBOTTLE — biodegradable, zero-waste packaging for toiletry products that simply wash away.

In an effort to reduce single-use plastics, German product designer Jonna Breitenhuber has come up with a way to avoid packaging altogether. Her SOAPBOTTLE concept introduces a line of waste-free cosmetics presented inside prototype bottles made entirely of soap.

According to Zero Waste Week, the global cosmetics industry produces over 120 billion units of packaging every year, most of which is non-recyclable and ends up in landfill, or worse yet, the ocean. This includes the 11 bottles of shower gel and 10 bottles of shampoo the average person uses each year.

Breitenhuber has turned to Kickstarter, launching a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to get it into people’s hands as soon as possible

Tackling bathroom plastics

Breitnerhuber tackles these statistics head on, turning product into packaging and offering a solution to the waste created by liquid-care products such as these. A set of simple and colourful soap containers made using natural and biodegradable ingredients are designed to wash away without the consumer needing to recycle any waste themselves.

It’s an ingenious idea. Each bar of soap is hollowed out and lined with a water-insoluble layer, which prevents any liquids contained from dissolving the soap casing. Users simply open the bottle by clipping off the corner and pour the product out when needed. Thanks to a hole carved into the top, a string can be easily looped around the bottle and hung in the shower, preventing it from washing away too soon.

To further conserve its contents, on top, there is a reusable metal closure that can be detached at the end of each use and secured safely onto the next product once completely finished. Each bottle consists of 80 grams of soap and can hold 1000 millilitres of liquid, lasting for approximately a month. When the liquid is gone, the bottles can be grated and used for body wash or detergent.

Find out more about other sustainable packaging solutions, head to PriestmanGoode minimizes waste from takeaway food packaging.

SOAPBOTTLE by Jonna Breitenhuber, a line of waste-free cosmetics presented inside prototype bottles made entirely of soap – Images via Green Product Award

A SOAPBOTTLE take on the Circular economy

SOAPBOTTLE is similar to other projects based on the circular economy which allow the production of a biodegradable material. The differences are that the biodegradable material in this example is a product you can actually use, and the marine environment that it breaks down in is the shower. 

Breitenhuber was inspired by the food industry and edible purchases that are consumed in their entirety like ice creams served in wafer cones for example. Wondering if she could transfer the same logic to hygiene products, during her master’s thesis at the University of Arts, Berlin, she developed SOAPBOTTLE, which could effectively serve as packaging for any liquid hygiene product on the market.

Each bottle consists of 80 grams of soap and can hold 1000 millilitres of liquid – Images via Green Product Award

The past, present and future of SOAPBOTTLE 

Since its inception, SOAPBOTTLE has had success at design fairs and events, including Salone Satellite and FachPack, receiving awards for design and sustainability, including the Federal Eco-Design Award. More recently, it has found a partner in clean-water and lifestyle brand Marie-Stella-Maris, a foundation that supports hygiene and drinking water initiatives globally. 

From a university project to a fully-fledged brand, SOAPBOTTLE will soon open its headquarters in Amsterdam and as the concept continues to develop. In the meantime, Breitenhuber has turned to Kickstarter, launching a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to get it into people’s hands as soon as possible.

Interested to know more about ways of replacing single-use plastics? Don’t miss Flexi-Hex is an adaptable plastic-free packaging solution

SOAPBOTTLE could effectively serve as packaging for any liquid hygiene product on the market – Images via Green Product Award
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