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Are mini shampoos checking out?

Those tiny, single-use toiletry bottles from hotels may soon be making their final trip to landfill.

These non-reusable hotel cosmetics are finally in the firing line as the trend to ban single-use plastic  gathers momentum in cities around the world.

As international hotel chains search for ways to phase them out, reduced impact products like Ecofill – a refillable and traceable eco-friendly dispenser – are hoping to fill the space left on the bathroom sink.

Ecofill is the first refillable cosmetics dispenser on the market that is 100 per cent traceable, says its maker Groupe GM, which is a global amenities supplier.

The move comes against a backdrop that sees plastic toiletries under 12 ounces (340 grams) becoming illegal in 2023 in California and by 2024 in New York, although smaller hotels will be given a year longer in each to adapt to the change.

Most hotel bottles, in contrast, weigh between 1 and 2 ounces (30-60 grams).

Multinational hotel chains are also on the case. The Marriott International, which has admitted to sending 500 million of the tiny bottles to landfill annually, has replaced them with larger, pump-topped bottles at hundreds of its hotels, with other chains, such as the Intercontinental, making similar commitments.

With Ecofill, each 400 ml pouch, containing body wash, shampoo, conditioner or other product, uses 8g of plastic, compared to the original bottles, each of which use 8g of plastic, saving 33 bottles or 264g of plastic.

The Ecofill dispenser also has an aesthetic design to reflect the image of its clients, according to Groupe GM, and its designs can be customised in line with their brand identity.

. . . a clean, safe, fast and easy solution with an environmental impact that is close to zero

Laurent Marchand

Groupe GM president

Wall brackets made of stainless steel or ABS plastic are used to attach the dispenser to the wall, using two screws or double-sided tape.  The pouches are recyclable and have a capacity of 400 ml.  

“This dispenser is not just eco-friendly, refillable, reusable and traceable, it is also a clean, safe, fast and easy solution with an environmental impact that is close to zero,” Groupe GM president Laurent Marchand says.

“Each 400 ml sealed pouch contains just 8g of recyclable plastic packaging and guarantees full formula traceability. The design is both aesthetic and ensures ease of use.” 

The Ecofill dispenser is made from either recycled and recyclable plastic with a translucent matt finish, or from recyclable transparent polycarbonate that can be coloured. In response to market demands, Groupe GM is also looking at the feasibility of a structure made from glass and aluminum.

The company has produced two videos, one to demonstrate to install Ecofill, and another to show how to clean an Ecofill dispenser. 

The tech:
Ecofill is composed of two main elements: a base and an upper part, which are screwed together to form the dispenser. The pouch is then placed inside the dispenser and a pump is used to extract the product, and it only takes only few seconds to change the pouch.    Ecofill’s ‘Stay Clean’ system aims to make it more hygienic and less prone to contamination when changing pouches, according to its maker, and has a zero bacteria risk, as the Ecofill pouch is sealed and is 100 per cent clean and safe with a traceable system in place.     The empty Ecofill pouches are also easy to replace and have a visible bulk level to help plan for when the pouch runs out. The traceability of the pouch complies with EU cosmetics regulations, and each pouch is also tamper-proof once sealed. 
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