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Waterless Shampoo - Bloom - Refinement Update

To target the vast amount of plastic and cosmetic waste created by complimentary bottles of shampoo & conditioner in hotel rooms.

Photo of Connor Devine
19 31

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It’s common practice for hotels to offer their guests complimentary shampoo and conditioner bottles, but all too often these end up in landfill.

Hotels throw these small bottles in the bin even if they’re only half used, and according to NBC ‘half a million little shampoo bottles end up in landfills every day.’ - That's an astonishing 182,500,000 bottles per year!

Around 80% of the contents of a shampoo bottle is water, since we use shampoo in a stream of running water dehydrating the product in the factory and wetting it whilst in the shower could save us an awesome amount of water as well as plastic packaging.

Presuming that a hotel bottle of shampoo is around 30ml we could save around 4,380,000 litres of water in the production of shampoo for Hotels alone!

A dehydrated shampoo could be compressed into a powdered ball form, I envisage these to be packaged in the same kind of cardboard box that washing detergent comes in.

Packaging in cardboard boxes instead of irregular plastic bottles also makes transport much easier, as well as transporting 80% less bulk per wash the product would even tessellate better inside vans and lorries saving on fuel!

Once in the hotel the consumer would receive the same high quality product and the hotel can dispense in a personal format, choosing dispensers to fit with their image. - Everyone's a winner!

Sadly I've been unable to upload my images in a reasonable quality before I go away for a couple of days so please view the PDF for a visual run down.

Idea Title

Dehydrated Shampoo.

Where are you / your team located?

Coventry, United Kingdom.

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

This idea changes how the shampoo is delivered to the user, no longer a liquid it is easier to set in a 'portion' and through using refillable dispensers the hotel is no longer required to dispose of the shampoo when clearing the room out.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Much like the butter tubs mentioned in Carmen's New Mexico Hotel, complimentary shampoo bottles along with their caps are often simply sent to landfill without being recycled. Much like the guests who benefit from Carmen's portion sized butter tubs this idea changes how the shampoo is delivered to the user, no longer a liquid it is set in a 'portion' and there's no sense of an 'open packet' forcing the Hotel to bin part used bottles.

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

I'd envisage this concept being best delivered initially by chains in the Western world, the reduction of water involved in making products however could prove to be beneficial in countries and regions where clean water is not abundant.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

I feel that Hotels are a great way to allow people to embrace the idea, larger chains are capable of rolling out the changes and ordering enough bulk of the shampoo to make it's initial production runs viable to cosmetics companies. Alongside this hotels give a unique way for users to 'trial' the concept and become accustomed over a couple of days or a week, following this I propose trying to encourage the idea into the domestic setting.

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.

The initial challenge for me would be to dehydrate shampoo myself, either by boiling off shampoo to reduce it to it's solid ingredients or by creating shampoo with only it's dry components. Developing a standardised size of product allowing for a satisfactory wash and unification of dispensers is another really important step and from here I would develop a user friendly, ergonomic standardised dispenser. From here my aim would be to roll out the idea collecting data from guests in a hotel.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Student Collaboration - Coventry University - Via creating an Ideas Matrix. My desire to reignite the idea and push it forward came whilst I was reading 'Creative Confidence' and came across the OpenIDEO platform, from there I was amazed this brief which worked so well with my idea was open.

Tell us about your work experience

I'm currently a Student at Coventry University and have no 'real world' experience so to speak, I've worked with clients through university but I feel I'm ready to push this idea further.

Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

The 500 Character limit for this section is pretty restrictive, please see the image/ supporting pdf for a full answer. The ultimate goal for this project would be to see shampoo bottles cease production and for all shampoo to be made in a waterless form, saving millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, plastic and other waste polluting our planet. Whilst this goal seems a very long way away today, as Henry Ford once said ‘Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small jobs.’

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

The goal for Bloom is to completely eliminate the need for any and all plastic packaging in shampoo and conditioner products, as such I have no plans to use any plastics in the product at all. The two types of packaging I’m proposing are both cardboard, card and paper are widely recycled and even when they are discarded out of the recycling loop or even landfill they are biodegradable and as such I can’t see a way in which this packaging could exacerbate the issues mentioned in the question.

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

The 500 Character limit for this section is pretty restrictive, please see the image for more detail. Waterless Shampoo is beneficial to the environment in manufacture of the shampoo, packaging materials and transport.

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

Cardboard is my main packaging material of choice, as a widely used and extremely well established material I believe the price will not be a major issue. Manufacturing the shampoo itself may be more of a challenge, this may require presses and mixing methods, this is not especially radical and the savings on transport should go some way to help with the costs. Also the nature of FMCGs is that they sell quickly, hopefully creating a good revenue stream.

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. 

Changing the User's experience is one of the main issues with this product, as a new product Bloom will need to be new and Intuitive and to help encourage the end user to use the item correctly and to help them embrace this change. Once idea discussed with my advisor was that traditional shampoos offer feedback in foam and that making a solid shampoo fizz could be an excellent piece of positive reinforcement and make the product fun and enjoyable to use.

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

The funding would go towards further developing a range of shampoos and conditioners, then this money would be used to manufacture batches of shampoo and packaging to test in hotels and further develop the idea.
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Attachments (2)

Refinement PDF.pdf

Refinement Stage PDF


Initial Submission PDF


Join the conversation:

Photo of Radha

Hi! By any chance does the dehydrated shampoo compressed into a powdered ball form contain sodium lauryl ether sulfate?

Photo of Connor Devine

Hi there, so far no, I've been experimenting with natural ingredients, at the moment my base is citric acid, bicarb soda, coconut oil and epsom salts

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