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Avasol: setting a new standard in plastic-free packaging and plastic reduction strategies.

Avasol designs and creates bio-based, refillable and recyclable packaging, ensuring it won’t become part of the global plastics crisis.

Photo of An Old Friend
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”To minimize use of single-use plastics at the source requires a rethinking of the way materials are used, flow through the system and are reused.” - Rebecca Prince-Ruiz


We live in a world where trillions of products are bought and sold every second. Each dollar we spend is a vote. The products we buy and the businesses we support have rippling side effects on the health of our bodies and the health of the planet.

That’s where Avasol® comes in.  

At Avasol® we are dedicated to a truly conscientious and responsible business model. We work hard to perfect our ingredients, but we don't stop there. We put just as much heart & dedication into the development of our packaging and its earth-friendly sustainability.

Reducing ocean plastic pollution and ocean conservation isn't just a marketing afterthought with Avasol®. It's in our DNA and is baked into everything we do.

Educating people about the health of the ocean's ecosystems and its affect on us is our mission.

Our innovative, plastic-free and refillable packaging is an industry first and we are continually making improvements and creating unique teaching moments around the world.

When people see our packaging, it triggers a realization that we can do without plastics and we can do quite well without making sacrifices.

Our packaging solutions aim to eliminate non-recyclable, small-format and single- (or limited-) use plastic waste.

Who Are We?

Avasol® is a socially and environmentally-conscious maker of premium, natural, organic, mineral skin and sun-care products.

We believe people deserve healthy skin protection that doesn't harm our bodies or our planet.


What problems do we solve?

We offer a trusted source for safe, functional and sustainable products in a world of confusing claims, marketing hype, greenwashing and piles of products that are little more than toxic chemicals in a plastic package.


How are we different?

We are authentic. With a mindset rooted in sustainability, we closely evaluate each part of our process, from growing, gathering, producing, packaging and distribution.

Every ingredient is researched carefully, sourced responsibly, tested extensively, and combined with love to make sunscreens that actually make your skin feel happy when you put them on!

But we don't stop there. We strive to make the best sunscreen in the world, and to do this, we must consider the environmental consequences of our packaging.

We have designed and created all of our own packaging and are continually working to close the loop and achieve circular design.

All of our products come in unique, biodegradable, recyclable or refillable packaging.


Why should you care?

What you do and what you support matters, and Avasol® is dedicated to a truly conscientious and responsible business model. By supporting Avasol you are part of a positive solution.

We welcome you to our tribe.

Idea Title

Setting a new standard in plastic-free and plastic-reduced personal care packaging

Company / Organization Name

Avasol

Website

http://avasol.com

Where are you / your team located?

Santa Barbara, CA

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

Avasol is setting a new standard in plastic-free packaging and plastic-reduction strategies without sacrificing functionality or convenience. Avasol designs and creates biodegradable, refillable or recyclable packaging that displaces the use of liquid sunscreen in plastic bottles with plastic caps. Sunscreen is used in natural settings, and we want to ensure our products won’t become part of the global plastics problem, even if you forget them on the beach or at the park.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Surfer’s Barrier Stick: Use Case 2 - Bottle Caps and Tear Offs Trevor and Ben could use this biodegradable sunscreen stick at their picnic and be happy knowing it will naturally and safely degrade into the environment even if they accidentally leave it behind. Travel & Refill Pouch: Use Case 1 - Single-use sachet for liquid consumer products By using Avasol’s sachet design, Mark would still be able to get the benefit of fitness gel portability and would be reducing his plastic waste by ~80%

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

Our solutions have local, regional and global impact. We have strong and growing international demand and we are shipping worldwide.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

1. Further minimizing & replacing plastic components. 2. Meeting the challenge of growing demand in the public and private sectors. 3. Designing and implementing bulk sizing solutions. 4. Developing a closed-loop process for consumers to ship back pouch for refill or recycle where it's not available. 5. Local/regional manufacturing to minimize shipping, and foster growth of micro-industries and small-scale manufacturing in developing countries where plastic pollution has worst effect.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

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

We have achieved self-reliance while staying true to our values. Our success is challenging because current demand is outstripping our resources and our ability to expand at a fast enough rate. This phase of our development requires adequate resources, careful planning and smart implementation to maintain our trajectory. The Accelerator Program would elevate our ability to further invest in our R&D and simultaneously meet demand, while investing in our marketing, education and outreach.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Our search for sun protection that was effective, natural, sustainable and would feel good on your skin proved fruitless. And we were disheartened by the "natural" sunscreens claiming to be "reef safe," yet packaging their products in toxic plastic. By 2010, we'd had enough of sunscreens that are suspected of causing more harm than good. So we made our own. If you strive to make the best sunscreen in the world, you must consider the consequences of your packaging.

Tell us about your work experience

Our team draws from a diverse and eclectic skill-set. Not only do we have experience in a myriad of critical areas, but each of us is deeply devoted to doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

LLC (501c3 pending)

2 comments

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Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Chris!

It is great to see you in the challenge.

How much less plastic does your ‘environmental defense cream - travel/refill’ sachet have compared to a sachet of an equivalent size?

How does the refillable option work?

Do you have any existing barriers to developing your idea that you’d like to share to help the OpenIDEO community understand where they might join the conversation and provide feedback?

Can you explain a bit more about how this idea can be implemented at scale? What would need to happen for this design to be brought to market at the [local or global] scale? What would it take for this idea to integrate at the scale of implementation you are aiming for?

Spam
Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Kate,

We are excited to be a part of the challenge!

"How much less plastic does your ‘environmental defense cream - travel/refill’ sachet have compared to a sachet of an equivalent size?"
It depends on what you are comparing it to, but we estimate that our Travel/Refill Pouch can have up to a 90% reduction in plastic, if we assume a comparable sachet is composed entirely of plastic. The primary plastic in our refill pouch is the cap, which is about the size of a pinky fingernail.

Please refer to the uploaded image under “How does this idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?” for more information.


"How does the refillable option work?"
Currently, the refillable option enables our consumers to first buy our Environmental Defense Cream pump and once the pump bottle runs out of product, the consumer can then purchase the refill pouch/sachet and fill their pump bottle back up over the lifetime of the pump, which, based on the durability of its materials, is quite a long time!

It is also important to note the the refill pouch is functional on its own and is a way for people to simplify and save money.

For a full video portrayal of this process, check out the video uploaded under “How does this idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?”


"Do you have any existing barriers to developing your idea that you’d like to share to help the OpenIDEO community understand where they might join the conversation and provide feedback?"

Developing ideas is the easy part. Our biggest barrier is a limitation of resources to further improve on the already-great packaging we have now and scaling to meet the demand fast enough. We are continually looking for ways to improve upon our materials and processes. We strive to further invest in our R&D, however, because we have such growing demand (that we are so stoked and grateful for!), our focus and capacity is tapped toward filling day-to-day demand. The Accelerator Program would elevate our ability to further invest in our R&D and simultaneously meet demand in even more countries, while also investing in our marketing, education and outreach. 


"Can you explain a bit more about how this idea can be implemented at scale? What would need to happen for this design to be brought to market at the [local or global] scale? What would it take for this idea to integrate at the scale of implementation you are aiming for?"

We have turned [some of] our ideas into actual products and we have implemented locally and internationally and are currently scaling to meet demand. We bootstrapped it and are growing organically, showing that the key to success is not the pitch, or the idea - it’s the product and the ability to actually deliver it.

One measure of success is sales, and positive feedback demonstrating an ability to solve real-world problems in practical ways that affect people’s lives every day. We are doing it right now, but the plastic problem is so overwhelming that we simply need to do it faster and cover more of the planet sooner.

Time is of the essence.
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