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Promote a cultural change of consumption with a system of bulk purchases of hygiene and cleaning products in developing countries.

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Voltei means "came back",  a simple Portuguese word that refers to the cycle of re-use without waste and to the return to the old habits that provided this. Looking for it, Voltei is a system of bulk purchases that seeks to unite sustainability, economy and opportunities for everybody. Using a digital platform, controlled by mobile application, the producer, the merchant and the local consumer can produce, sell and purchase cleaning and personal hygiene products.

The system is managed by the platform thats allows the registration and sale of manufactured products for producers, ordering these products, manage its sales for merchants, and letting than consumers buy them. The producer will supply his water-soluble products in a liquid and concentrated form, using the logistics packages provided by the Voltei, without having to produce individual disposable plastic packages, reducing logistics and production expenses and offering a more accessible product value.

The merchant installs the self-service machine in his establishment and orders the products, the machine dilutes the products in water when are requested by the consumer, who do yours a bulk purchase ready to use, choosing the exact quantity desired and storing it in the reusable packaging offered.

This way, the system can have as results a social improvement, being able to develop a sense of community and help in the generation of local wealth, encouraging just enough consumption, intensification of use and valorization of post-use, as well contributing to reduce the need for the production of plastic packaging and the impact caused by them.

Idea Title

Find in the intensive use and in the post-use the way to unite sustainability, economy and opportunities for everybody.

Company / Organization Name

Pimenta Criativa


Where are you / your team located?

Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Caxias do Sul.

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

The reusable packaging provided to the consumer is adjustable, adapting to the desired quantity, besides being easily cleaned for the constant use. Its bottleneck and lid are produced together with the body, avoiding the presence of reduced size components. The two packages of the system (the consumer and the producer packing) are produced with recycled polymers, finding an effective after-use for this kind of material, which can be supplied from initiatives like the The Ocean CleanUp.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

The project can be applied in case 1, offering a more economical alternative that seeks to reduce also the consumption of disposable plastic packaging in its compact versions, which reduce the final price of the products but drastically increase the amount of waste. The Voltei system offers cleaning and personal hygiene products based on the intensive use and on the valorization of the post-use, promoting a more conscious purchase through a system of bulk purchases.

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

The project is suitable for developing countries, where recycling is not efficient and the population finds difficulties to have broad access to these kind of products, which are essential for the maintenance of health and well-being.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Once designing the packaging, the self-service machine and the application programming, the system can be adapted in several local communities where the demand exists, offering opportunities for local producers to sell its products, for merchants sell them in a more attractive way and for the consumer acquires it with more economy and sustainability. In addition, the system can be adhered by well-known brands, providing the initial support for the platform expansion.

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.

Use of the New Plastics Economy Accelerator Program structure and financial assistance. Follow-up is required for the development of products and packaging, with a team of mechanical, chemical and electrical engineers, and also the implementation and management of the platform to insert the system at the points of sale.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea came through an academic work, allied to the desire of the Pimenta Criativa team to be able to contribute with actions that bring improvements to the planet as a whole.

Tell us about your work experience

The project arose from a research to understand the form of consumption and impacts caused by the plastics, transforming this information into actions that can contribute to reverse this scenario.

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

Voltei aims to offer a new form of commercialization for liquid products of personal hygiene and cleaning, seeking in its strategy generate the thought of conscious consumption. For this to happen, the producer, the merchant and the local consumer become more than just customers, they become essential for the business model to work through the app (view the images in high resolution: The main difficulty to start the project is the initial financial investment for the prototypes.

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

Packaging can be produced with recycled plastic from initiatives such as The Ocean Cleanup ( The logistics package uses the bag-in-box system, ideal for transporting concentrated liquids, ensuring safety and greater economy. The reusable packaging has only two components, which can be separated to facilitate its sanitization and recycling. In addition, its information is accessible in the mobile phone application, avoiding the need for labeling.

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

The whole project was based on the Circular Economy, seeking to show the value of post-use and intensive use as a possibility to reduce the social and environmental problems caused by the plastics. The self-service machine allows the consumer to choose the exact quantity desired of the product, controlling everything by the mobile phone application and that, together with the packagings, avoid the need for excessive production of individual packaging and waste of the product itself.

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.

The economic gain can be obtained by the exemption of the need to produce individual consumable packaging, which also reduces the costs with logistics, being the product transported in its concentrated form with the supplied packages, being able to arrive to the consumer with a final cost between 25 and 50% cheaper. In addition, bulk purchases allow the consumer to get the exact quantity desired of the product, influencing a conscious consumption, acquiring only what is needed.

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. 

Through the interactive platform, the project seeks to offer an alternative to current consumption, encouraging people to do it with more awareness, valuing local producers and merchants and acquiring only what is needed. In Brazil, many people are gaining access to new consumer items without any guidance or education, which increases the social and environmental problems caused by consumable plastics.

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

- Prospect Investors; - Initial stages of development and prototyping; - Enable closer networking with the IDEO team to build the project.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Guilherme Broliato 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in 8 HOURS, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening! We have not yet received this from your team. This is mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post. I see you've already significantly updated your concept on the platform.. But please share any additional information, photos, and documentation of your progress throughout this Phase!

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of Bruno dos Santos Pierosan

Hi there Lauren Ito  and Kate Rushton ! We double checked all our inboxes during all day (Me, Guilherme Broliato  and Igor Biffi  too), and we only received the email an hour ago. We are all working hard and we intend to send all information soon.

Photo of Bruno dos Santos Pierosan

Hi Again Lauren Ito , We've just sent the information, can you check to we know if is there everything allright? Unfortunately there are much more space to write more information about our project there, but with so little time, we prefered to include only the information we already have here. We hope we rech the Top Idea phase, so we could share more information about our ideas and isights!


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