Friday, March 09, 2012
Concentrates to Reduce Plastic Consumption
Using less and recycling more is a no brainer. Some companies have begun to offer concentrates for sale so that spray bottles and soap dispensers can be refilled without all the plastic waste and shipping emissions.
SC Johnson is doing its part to lead the “concentrate revolution.” They created Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouches which require 90 percent less plastic than a standard 26-ounce bottle (enough for 6.5 ballpoint pens). The Windex® Mini concentrates were sold online as a test. The Windex® Mini was recognized with a 2012 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award in the All Purpose Cleaner category! Companies produce what we demand with our wallets and since this test was successful, SC Johnson was able to expand the concentrate option to many more products! They now offer five of SC Johnson’s trusted brands in concentrates: fantastik®, Pledge®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, Shout® and Windex®.
The concept of buying a concentrate and adding water yourself seems to be a little unfamiliar to many consumers. I think it has huge potential and it is already very successful at the industrial level. When I was in retail management, many of our cleaning supplies came concentrated and were mixed with water by the employees. It was quite easy and worked just as well.
I was able to try out the new SC Johnson concentrate options for myself and I have to say that they were super easy to use. All you do is just put water into the empty spray bottle, pour in the little bottle of concentrate and then screw on the sprayer and give it a gentle shake. I tested out the fantastik® and it cleans just as well as the original product. I dropped the little bottle into our recycling bin – it is made out of the same plastic as a milk jug and recycled easily in most communities. Each of these little concentrate bottles requires 79 percent less plastic than the standard sprayer and avoids unnecessary transportation of extra weight and space thereby reducing carbon emissions.
I think the biggest hurdle in making concentrates the standard is getting people to be aware of the new product option. When most people go to buy a bottle of Windex®, they find and grab the product that matches their mental image. I believe that if customers knew that they could look for the little concentrate refill bottles instead, and that it would save them money while being better for the environment, of course, they would do it! All of these concentrates are being sold online at http://www.scjgreenchoices.com/store.
Did you know that if just 20 percent of the sprayers purchased in America in one year were refilled rather than thrown away, we could avoid using 3.5 million pounds of virgin plastic? Impressive. Small changes in habits really can add up to big differences!
Have you tried the concentrates yet? Do you have any suggestions you want to share about the new concentrate options?