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Shampoo Dispensers in "Pulperias"

Pay-per-portion shampoo-dispensers in BoP community stores

Photo of Holly McKenna
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Pay-Per-Portion Shampoo Dispensers in BoP One-Stop-Shops. Consumers make a one-time purchase for a reusable shampoo container of their preferred size, then can purchase plastic-less refills whenever they want. 

Idea Title

Adios, Shampoo Sachets

Company / Organization Name



In development

Where are you / your team located?


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

Our team is proposing a model that could pressure big brands into replacing single-serving plastic wrapped items with dispensers and reusable containers. We need to continue our research to ensure this would decrease plastic waste, decrease price over time, and increase satisfaction.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?


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

We plan to begin our operations in "pulperias" (community stores) in low-resource communities around Granada, then throughout Nicaragua. If this is successful, we will expand to other parts of the world with similar community dynamics.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

In order to be successful, we need to spend months developing this model with the BoP, as well as working top-down with big brands. Local awareness and compliance, then top-down implementation. It is crucial that the price-point remains the same or lower (after purchase of container) to ensure continued access to valued product. I can foresee maintenance and machine stock complications at the beginning. We will need create a stock system that fits well with the existing "pulperia" stock process

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.

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

If we end up getting support, we will spend more time with our potential customers in order to design this system with them. If we design a system that is working well in our partner communities, we could present this model to a big brand. Since almost everything in these community stores is single-serving and wrapped in plastic, we could expand this model to other items. As most other developing countries have similar community stores, we could apply this local model, globally.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Our idea emerged from spending time in communities and talking to locals about why they buy shampoo in these plastic sachets.

Tell us about your work experience

Our team has a mix of materials engineers, an environmental lawyer, a visionary, grassroots researcher, and a product designer

Please describe your legal and organizational structure



Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Holly!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

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