Bower Collective and the BowerPack™ reusable packaging system: bringing the circular economy to consumer goods
We started Bower Collective to serve the growing number of people who want natural household and personal care products, but do not want plastic waste.
People like Richard Bower MBE (yes we share a name with one of our customers!) who has worked in recycling for Cornwall County Council for 20 years and is passionate about doing the right thing with the plastic he brings home. He is aware that reusing plastics is better than recycling them and that the plastic parts of municipal recycling collections are largely (like 90%) incinerated or exported.
Richard understands the problem with plastic waste is that recycling it is not working. I heard a great coffee business on the radio the other night talking about all the effort they had put into making their packaging recyclable. Sadly the reality is “so what!” if less than 10% of the plastic you put into your recycling bin gets recycled.
Lisa Ramsden, a Greenpeace USA senior plastics campaigner does not mince her words!
“Corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever have worked with industry front groups to promote plastic recycling as the solution to plastic waste for decades. But the data is clear: practically speaking, most plastic is just not recyclable. The real solution is to switch to systems of reuse and refill,”.
So, at Bower Collective we have set out to deliver our beautiful natural products (starting with natural hand wash, body wash, shampoo, laundry liquid, dishwashing and cleaning products) in a technology enabled reusable packaging system we call BowerPack™. Not only does BowerPack™ eliminate plastic waste, it is 90% more carbon efficient than single use packaging so helps to tackle climate change.
The key elements of the BowerPack™ process are:
- When one of our customers receives a delivery we provide a free returns envelope to return the pouches after the natural product has been dispensed into a reusable dispenser.
- The lightweight pouches are designed with a safety valve system to prevent any internal contamination of the packaging.
- A unique digital tracking ID means we can track the packaging throughout its lifecycle, from the initial fill through to return, refill and so on. We know how many times the pouch has been used, where it is in the lifecycle, the product, the pouch container, product batch information, best before dates and more.
- Our automated refill line uses technology to quality control the pouches and decide what products to refill the pouch with.
- BowerPack™ also has a QR code for consumers to scan and get information about the pack, how many times it has been reused and the plastic and carbon saved.
We’re excited to be launching more and more natural products in BowerPack™ in 2023. Keep an eye out for BowerPack™ in your next delivery!