Here is an interesting approach to keeping rigid plastic deodorant tubes out of landfills, and it comes from Unilever’s Dove brand. On Jan. 6, Dove announced that it would be launching a line of refillable deodorants, that allows consumers to buy just one stainless steel case and when the deodorant stick runs out, it can be replaced with a refill, removing the single-use rigid plastic tube and cap.
According to the announcement from Dove, who worked with A Plastic Planet in launching the initiative, the refillable products are now available at Target and Walmart.
The first thing that jumps out is the folding carton that the starter kit comes in. For a consumer browsing the deodorant shelf, a folding carton will stand out from the other plastic tubes.
Each panel of the carton does a great job explaining what the product is all about, without overloading the consumer with product claims, describing each component of the kit and its impact.
Opening the carton, each part of the refillable kit nested within, and labeled accordingly – from the cap, to the stick itself, to the base. The refillable stick does come in a plastic protective case, but Dove has done a nice job of reassuring the consumer that it is 98% recycled. Additionally, using the How2Recycle label, Dove is also able to communicate to the consumer that the plastic portion can be recycled yet again, but encourages users to check with their local communities, since facilities may not exist in all areas.
Assembling the components is easy, and Dove has done a great job of using the interior panel to demonstrate how the refillable stick clicks into the base and how the cap goes directly on top of that. The result is a really sleek looking tube, that gives off a great premium essence, and has a nice weight and feel to it in the consumer’s hand, as compared to comparable plastic tubes.
According to the announcement from Dove, in 2019, the brand pledged to be a leader in plastic reduction in the beauty and personal care markets, and aimed to reduce the use of virgin plastic by 20,500 tons per year.
Embracing refillable packaging is certainly an ambitious initiative for this global brand, and it will be interesting to see if this becomes an expanding trend across other market segments.