OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Bar None.

A solid shampoo bar with no need for a plastic bottle.

Photo of Jess Mak
12 11

Written by

Bar None is a concept for a solid shampoo bar (shown using the Aussie brand). By omitting the water from the ingredients - which accounts for 80% of the product - it is a cost-effective alternative to the shampoo bottle. The bare-minimum information is printed onto stone paper. Inspired by natural beauty, the shape of the product itself is used to differentiate it from the rest.

Idea Title

Natural beauty is best.

Where are you / your team located?

Leicester, UK.

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

This concept eliminates the need for a plastic bottle. Further to this, each bar is six times smaller than the existing model, meaning less cost and CO2. The packaging sleeve is made from Parax Stone paper ( which is greaseproof, tear proof, waterproof and photodegradable. The packaging is printed using soy ink, and requires 30% less ink than ordinary paper.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

The every-day consumer, whether they are aware of/ concerned by the detrimental effects of plastic or not. The supplier or manufacturer who wants to cut costs. The brand who wants to be the innovator in the market.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Anywhere shampoo is sold in a retail environment. Eventually globally to have the largest positive effect possible.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The greatest challenge I think is contending with the existing model; from production, to packaging and point-of-sale, everything would have to change. I foresee that the potential to cut costs in the long-term, at every stage of the product life cycle could help overcome this obstacle. I imagine that the big brands could be interested in the creative freedom and fun behind the concept, and test it with their products on a small scale to start with. I hope that eventually it replaces the bottle.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Keeping plastics out of the ocean is a noble cause, and being part of the New Plastics Economy Accelerator would be an incredible opportunity to broaden my knowledge and ideas for this project and the next. It would be invaluable to learn about the real challenges that as a designer I would face in making this concept a reality, particularly with suppliers and the big fish/corporations. I would value their feedback, and working with them to introduce my solution into the retail environment.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Whilst studying graphic design at university I had a part-time job in a supermarket, where I spent a lot of time cutting through rigid plastic film to uncover plastic bottles of toiletries. I thought that there had to be a better solution, so I dedicated my Final Major project to trying to find one. The short film, 'Midway' by Chris Jordan opened my eyes to the not so glamourous side of packaging.

Tell us about your work experience

3 years' study, UK 1 year study, France 1 year as a Graphics/ Interior Designer 6 months as a Healthcare Assistant Full-time Problem Solver

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Jess Mak 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in LESS THAN 8 HOURS, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening--we have not yet received this from you. These questions are mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post.

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of Jess Mak

Hello Lauren,

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Circular Design Challenge and was delighted to be shortlisted. Would it be possible to receive some feedback from the judges? This would be invaluable in developing my project, and myself as a designer. Thank you very much in advance.

Kind regards,


View all comments