innerbottle Works Toward Zero Waste Cosmetic Packaging
Tom Spendlove posted on July 12, 2019 |

The engineers and designers at innerbottle have big ideas about cosmetic packaging. After doing research for a project the team found that the competitive nature of the cosmetics business stretched all the way to packaging. To stand out companies often used innovative printing or packaging gimmicks, resulting in more packaging materials that were often unrecyclable. Further, the used cosmetic bottles could not be recycled because the oil left in the bottle required too much water to efficiently clean. The South Korean team's solution is the innerbottle, a silicone balloon packaging method that sits inside a bottle and can be pulled for recycling. The group is running a Kickstarter campaign for the packaging innovation.

The one hundred percent BPA free silicone used in the bottles is intended to either be incinerated or recycled to silicone oil. The removable film on the outside of the bottle can be customized to the product inside, while the bottle and nozzle can be reused with another balloon later or recycled. One video on the campaign page also shows that the balloon delivery system gave a 33.08 % higher yield over a traditional cylindrical bottle.

Beyond the product and packaging innovation the group has different methods for pushing their sustainable agenda. There's a calculator that helps users figure out how much the innerbottle system would help their application. The RE-Turn recycle program works with cosmetic brands to supply the balloon system and later take used customer bottles for recycling. Finally there's hand and body lotion offered through the campaign in conjunction with COSMAX, a South Korean cosmetics company.

Depending on the time of year there are sometimes four women living in my house, and I have seen firsthand the amounts of packaging waste that takes place in the world of cosmetics. The road to sustainable living will never have one easy solution but the innerbottle system looks like a step in the right direction. The team has won awards from K-Start 2018, The Sustainable Cosmetic Summer 2019, IN-PACT ASIA, and Red Dot 2019. The Kickstarter campaign has not yet met its funding goal and the campaign ends on August 11, 2019.

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