This shampoo bottle is for life

Zero Co has big plans for those beauty products in your bathroom.

A circular economy startup is taking aim at plastic shampoo, deodorant and skincare bottles as it extends its ‘forever use’ packaging model into personal care.

Zero Co, which has to date focused on the cleaning products space with its milkman-style delivery model, has extended its mission to replace the huge number of single-use plastics in Australian bathrooms.

According to Zero Co, supermarket-bought single-use shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and skincare products contribute significantly to the plastic problem.

With this in mind, the company has added these products to its already extensive product range. Zero Co’s range uses both dispensers and refill pouches, both of which are made from ocean waste.

The dispensers, which are sent out in the first delivery, stay in the home, and are filled up using colour-matched refill pouches that are returned to the company using reply-paid postage satchels.

A custom-made and first-of-its-kind piece of technology, a Pouch Recovery Machine, then washes the pouches at scale so they can be reused

Our community has demonstrated the significant impact that individuals can have on a massive, global problem.

Mike Smith

Zero Co co-founder

zero-co-deodorant
source: Zero Co

With over 57,000 customers so far embracing the company’s zero-waste refill model, the company’s co-founder Mike Smith said, “Our community has demonstrated the significant impact that individuals can have on a massive, global problem.

“Thanks to their support, in the last year and a half, we have removed the equivalent of 803,083 water bottles worth of rubbish from oceans and beaches by funding clean ups around Australia.

“And, thanks to our incredible Pouch Recovery Machine, we’ve stopped the equivalent of 789,325 water bottles worth of rubbish from ending up in landfill.”

To develop the new range, Zero Co has teamed up with the former global head of product at cruelty-free personal care product maker Aesop with the aim of rivalling top-shelf product labels with products that are also free from silicones, parabens & EDTA.

The tech:
The process behind Zero Co’s retail model is to take plastic waste from the ocean or landfill and transform it into what it calls “forever use” packaging. To enable this the company has built a custom-made machine for cleaning and sanitising its pouches at scale. The company says 10,000 used pouches returned by customers have now been processed through its new pouch recovery machine.

Who funds it:

Zero Co raised funds for its first production run in 2019 via Kickstarter, and more recently completed an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Is it ready to roll:

Zero Co’s custom-built pouch recovery machine began officially operating in August 2021 and the company continues to test its output.

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