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Nektar: the modular refillable system for dispensing personal care products and detergents

Refillable Modules that are handy, easy to refill, detachable, with nice design. Avoid disposal of plastic.

Photo of JP De Mussy

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A) Container Design

Nektar is a modular refillable system for dispensing personal care products and detergents. The design of the system is inspired by the pollination process during which pollinating insects like mosquitos, hoverflies, bees, butterflies, etc. consume nectar secreted by flowers. 

In the same way, in our system the flowers are the bottles/containers and the nectar is the content inside the bottles (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner or even cleaning products such a detergents). The bottles are easily detachable, so the required amount of shower gel can be readily dispensed before locking it back to its original place.

The containers are arranged on a wooden skeleton, which can be attached to a wall in a bathroom or to a shower cabin (see picture 01). The bottles are screwed on the wooden structure and each bottle is detachable, eliminating the need of a plastic cap, since the bottle closes when it gets re-screwed.

The modular bottles are refilled with “Nektar drops” sold via an online shop or refill stations. They are made with natural ingredients and will be under a concentrate form.

Nektar’s online presence will also develop a community where visitors can learn about the properties, sourcing details, special recipes for organic personal care products and detergents.

B) Body Care Product

The body care product follows a Social Circular Design:

  • It is good for the planet (does not harm the environment),
  • It is good for the end user (only contains natural, bio-labelled components)
  • It is socially responsible meaning that sourcing of all products is done from local bio-farms.

C) Distribution 

The container as well as it content are distributed using direct channels to the end customer: i.e. e-shopping and refill stations located at partner shops sharing similar values.

Idea Title

Nektar: modular and refillable flowers

Where are you / your team located?

EUROPE: Leipzig, Germany/Brussels, Belgium

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

By designing out plastic caps we expect to avoid small format plastic from hitting the market.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

1: Single-use sachets 2: Bottle caps and tear-offs

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

The implementation first step is Germany and Belgium, roll out can be the rest of Europe.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Step 1: proof-of-concept Sale via webshop + Distribute x mail Product from local contract manufacturing Step 2: Full scale Roll out Sale via refill stations + webshop + Distribution x mail Product from local contract manufacturing Building a community of users and supporters Step 3: Operating concept / Startup Sale via refill stations + webshop + Distribution x mail Product from own production Managing a community of users and supporters

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.

1st: quickly validate our proof-of-concept 2nd: understand major issues at stake on the outsourcing of production and distribution to consumers 3rd: develop an internal know-how on body care product formulation meeting strict customer expectations

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea emerged from an analysis on the lifecycle of disposable plastic packaging for personal care products and detergents. We challenged ourselves to find a viable solution for a refillable system. Following biomimicry principles, we looked at the pollination process and correlated the relationship personal care product/human to nectar/bee. We reinterpreted the bottle as a flower and the content as nectar.

Tell us about your work experience

Marilu Valente: is a designer with a strong focus on sustainability. Jean Paul Gueneau de Mussy: focuses in bringing together business, creativity and technology to build a more sustainable world.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Partnership between Marilu Valente (Leipzig, Germany) and Jean Paul Gueneau de Mussy (Brussels, Belgium).


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi JP De Mussy 
We have received your Refinement Phase Submission Questions! Just a friendly reminder that the Phase closes tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. PT. so please update your contribution on the platform before the deadline.

Thank you for all your work this Refinement Phase and for being member of the OpenIDEO Community!

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