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Soap Station

A self-serve liquid soap kiosk, positioned in supermarkets, allowing customers to re-fill soap dispensers & eliminate single-use packaging.

Photo of Holly Wadsworth-Hill
2 11

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As far as I can tell, this does not yet exist, certainly not on the kind of scale that I imagine.

I throw away/recycle liquid hand soap bottles at least once a month and it occurred to me that the first thing I do when I get home is to decant the liquid soap into my soap dispenser which matches the rest of my bathroom accessories - the same thing applies to my shower gel and bubble bath. The same could apply to shampoo, conditioner and body lotions.

This idea envisages a 'soap station' positioned in appropriate retail space (such as supermarkets) which would act as a potentially self-service refill kiosk for liquid soaps and the like.


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

This would eliminate the need for single-use plastic health and beauty liquid packaging which, although often recyclable, could still be rendered unnecessary.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Single use sachet for liquid consumer products.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

This would either need to be marketed as a completely new and alternative liquid soap or to a leading existing health and beauty manufacturer, this would give the added impetus for the idea to be developed into a refill kiosk for other leading liquid products, such as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bath foam, etc. The idea lends itself most to an organic product in the initial stages but I think it has the potential to be expanded across the mass market.

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.

This is at the ideas stage only! Every time I empty a plastic liquid soap dispenser into the bin, I wonder why something like this doesn't already exist. For this to be recognised as a problem that could potentially be solved would be amazing. I have no experience at all and I am a copywriter by trade so recognition of this idea would be a great place to start. I'm not sure where I would begin...

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Individual idea.

Tell us about your work experience

I am a freelance copywriter, currently working within the marketing department for Mail Newspapers.

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Photo of Chris Eberhardt
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Holly Wadsworth-Hill As I read through this it sounded similar to me going to the store to buy a refill bottle of dish soup or hand soap now that I use to refill a smaller refill container. I also have the feeling that I might of seen something like your idea at a food coop. But then I wondered, is your idea more so targeted at those that can't afford a bulk refill bottle that can be recycled, but rather the Indian case study? I think if the machine was smart enough to allow friends, family, neighbors, etc., to have a joint account that can cover the distributor's costs, it might work, but otherwise it might be less convenient if you have to remember your refilling bottle every day and can still just purchase a little amount of soap each day. When I first saw your idea headline, I was thinking of solid shampoo distributed from the machine for some reason. That eliminates the need for remembering a bottle. I've just seen on a small scale where shoppers cut off a chunk of goat's milk soap.

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