Four Global Brands That Are Designing Products To Reduce The Throwaway Culture


You buy a product, use it till it’s exhausted, and then throw it away. This is repeated once, twice, thrice, and before you know it, it becomes a habit, and you’re caught in a vicious circle of the throwaway culture. It usually happens with single-use products (mostly made of plastic), which only leads to land and ocean pollution, a major concern for our environment. 

We, as consumers, need to take a conscious step towards decreasing disposing of non-biodegradable waste. However, brands too have an equal role to play. And some of them are making positive changes by opting for a circular economy approach. Put simply, this means they are taking into consideration the life cycle of a product- right from the stages of designing to manufacturing and final end-use. One of the many backbones of a circular approach is to reuse existing items. So how are they encouraging this? By redesigning existing products or coming up with innovative solutions for people to get off the bandwagon of the throwaway culture. Here’s how four global brands have pledged to reduce plastic use. 

1. Henkel X Rossman Refill Stations 

Henkel has collaborated with European drugstore chain Rossman for installing refill stations in the Czech Republic. From liquid detergent to shampoos and shower gels, you can take your existing bottle and fill it up at these stations rather than buying a new one.

Photograph: Rossmann

2. Marie Bee Bloom’s Biodegradable Face Masks

Face masks have become an essential accessory for the world, and there’s no choice but to wear them. However, all face masks have a limited life span, which leads to people discarding them, leading to a boost in environmental degradation. To combat this issue, Dutch designer Marie Bee Bloom has invented face masks made from rice paper. Its benefit? Once you’ve exhausted its use, you can plant it and watch it blossom instead of throwing it.

3. Dove’s Refillable Speed Sticks

Beauty pollution is as real as pollution caused by other industries, and taking a step towards change is the personal-care brand, Dove. It has introduced a refillable deodorant in three different scents. The palm-sized product (which TBH looks like the Apple Airpods case) has a silver and white stainless steel refillable case. You can buy refills separately whenever you need them. The deodorant makes use of minimum raw materials whilst creating a durable and long-lasting product. The refills use 54% less plastic than regular Dove Zero stick packaging, and 98% of the plastic used is made from recycled content.


Being frustrated with the packaging waste in the cosmetics industry, Berlin-based Jonna Beitenhuber created a product to address this issue. Say hello to SOAPBOTTLE – a liquid soap that comes in packaging made from soap. After the liquid content is finished, the empty container can be used as hand soap. Once washed away, it decomposes in the sewage plant within a few days so that that waste can be completely avoided. Innovative, right? 

Although these designs don’t have a 100% guarantee of eliminating plastic waste, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

- Lifestyle Editor


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