Counting Down the Top Four Dow Awards: #3 P&G, Zacros Partner on Refillable Pouch

This award winner represent the most innovative packaging breakthroughs in categories ranging from food and beverage to personal care, with a strong focus on sustainability and the circular economy.

Zacros designed the Platinum Dow Award Finalist Ariel Platinum Sports Refill Pouch in partnership with The Procter & Gamble Company of Japan Limited. The innovation is a unique way to cater to consumer habits and environmental concerns in Japan, where refill pouches for liquid laundry detergent are often used. The standing pouch, which is made of aluminum-deposited PET without need for barrier layer, features a PE spout and inner disk, preventing the detergent from coming out when the pouch is turned upside down. In addition, the unique structure also allows the air in the bottle to be replaced by the contents, drastically reducing the time for refilling. We asked Zacros, how does this unique, dual-purpose disk structure work?

Index “The spout has an inner lid (or disk), so even if you turn it upside down, the detergent will not come out. By fitting it into the bottle, the inner lid opens, and the detergent flows into the bottle,” says Zarcos’ Satomi Guzman. “The spout has separate flow paths for liquid and air, and this mechanism allows air in the bottle to escape to the outside. Therefore, it can be poured quickly. Since we designed a part inside the spout inner lid (disk) that fits with the bottle’s tip, the pouch and the bottle fit perfectly. The spout is designed to fit only certain bottles.”

While the pack itself isn’t recyclable, it clearly hits the mark on sustainability. In fact, it owes its existence to brands’ efforts to become greener and achieve sustainability goals that they’ve set for themselves. In this case, by using refill packs and getting many more cycles out of what used to be a single-use plastic bottle, the overall sustainability profile is strong. 

“Zacros doesn’t just focus on ‘Recyclability’ in terms of sustainability,” Guzman says. “Our sustainability focuses on the 3Rs—Recycle, Reduce, and Reinvent. We emphasize the ‘Reduce’ and ‘Reinvent’ packaging with innovative technologies that improve sustainability. In this case, we reinvented a spout. By adding usability and performance, we think consumers are willing to switch from the bottle to the refill pouch, which ultimately improves sustainability. We believe that small changes can make a difference in society. Zacros was a pioneer introducing refill to the Japanese market back in the 1990s. You can read our success story of the refill pouch on our website.” (Visit pwgo.to/5837 for more).

A video of this P&G and Ariel brand project, to better visually illustrate the spout and inner lid (disk) system, is not currently available. However, the company is currently developing a similar fitment, called the FPS-03, that is based on this Dow Awards-recognized pack. You can access a demonstration, hosted by John Patterson, Zacros America’s Business Development Manager at the recent PACK EXPO Connects, by visiting the company’s PACK EXPO Connects Virtual Showroom at pe.show/426. This On-Demand presentation, titled “Unique Liquid Refill Pouch for Home and Personal Care,” originally aired on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2020, but will remain available for viewing until March 31, 2021.

Click on the following links to read more about the other top Dow 2020 winners.

Henkel Invests in Recycled Plastic with a Social Cause

Metal-free Recyclable Coffee Bag

Economical Inner Barrier Film Deposition Process for PET Bottles



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