Refill pouches are 3X sustainable: reduce, reuse... and now even 100% recycle!


The logic behind refill pouches is simple: being able to reuse a rigid container endless times by purchasing the same product sealed in much lighter packaging is a great way to reduce waste. Offering a winning mix of sustainability and convenience, it’s no wonder pouches have quickly become an intuitive and popular way to top up the various liquid products we use every day: soaps, shampoos, shower gels, detergents, cleansers, fertilisers and more! 

Indeed, many personal and home care brands already offer refillable containers, and consumers have grown used to buying a rigid container, pump bottle or sprayer only the first time they try a new product, subsequently shifting to flexible packaging for refills directly at home.

As thoroughly explained in this article by Fondazione Carta Etica del Packaging on the so-called “Refill Revolution”, this model requires the same product be sold in two versions: a “main” packaging that must be solid enough to be reused several times, and a “refill” packaging that minimises volume and thickness.

Every time we use “refill” packaging that is lighter and less bulky than a rigid container, we are making a sustainable choice by reducing waste and reusing the original container instead of throwing it away. 

Furthermore, more compact and flexible packaging is lighter and more efficient to transport and deliver: an advantage that has become particularly relevant since the boom of e-commerce in recent years. As products can adapt better to smaller, lighter cardboard boxes shipped across the world, logistics can be optimized and greenhouse gas emissions reduced.

But that’s not all: Gualapack is now launching 100% mono-material refill pouches fully made of polypropylene (PP), which can be recycled in the plastic stream.

Ideal for personal and home care products, these pouches were created by Gualapack leveraging the expertise and success achieved with Pouch5 – the brand’s innovative, fully recyclable PP pouch designed for hot fill and pasteurised products as well as for chilled and dairy applications.

The benefits of recyclable refill pouches for the environment

  • Reduce
    Flexible packaging options such as pouches are lighter and take up less volume, and therefore require less energy both in manufacturing and in transportation or delivery. Instead of multiplying the impact of a new rigid plastic bottle every time, choosing a pouch for refills translates into considerable savings in terms of materials and resources used.
  • Reuse
    The first container purchased is refilled and reused instead of going to waste. This is particularly important because this packaging is generally more structured, perhaps made of rigid plastic or even glass, and sometimes offers additional features that are important to easily use the product, but not for simple transportation and storage: think about sprayers, handles, pumps and so on.
  • Recycle
    Gualapack’s mono-material pouches can be conveniently recycled because they are easily sorted into the existing PP stream, keeping material out of the landfill and finally granting it a second life. And in the end, the rigid packaging that was reused can also be recycled!

Refills offer practical advantages for consumers too!

At home, the motivation to recycle is supported by flexible packaging’s additional benefit of being extremely compact once empty, so consumers can effortlessly sort waste without one big bottle taking up half of the bin dedicated to plastic.

Interested to find out more about our range of refill pouches? Contact us and we will be happy to give you all the information about our new mono-material options – part of Gualapack’s ongoing sustainability journey.