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Dr. Bronner's packaging design breaks almost every rule of traditional design. Sure, there's text on every crevice of the label in that oh-so-itty-bitty typeface, but if there's one thing the brand does well, it's creating an ownable design system that places a value on setting itself apart.
And maybe sustainability?
The brand's 18-in-1 soap comes packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle, which isn't so great because—let's be honest here—we're talking plastic. However, the brand just introduced a new liquid soap refill system in all of the brand's scents.
Bronner's implemented a carton refill package because it has a lower environmental footprint than glass, aluminum, and its existing 100% post-consumer-recycled plastic bottle when considering fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, water, and mineral resources. Now, consumers only need to buy the refill box, and they can throw it in their Dr. Bronner's bottle that's currently sitting in the shower for bathtime-fun reading. You could also pour it into a spray bottle or foaming pump dispenser—you're the boss!
It is important to note that while the cartons are considered recyclable in the US, packaging in recycling bins may not get recycled. Because of this, in the life-cycle assessment, Dr. Bronner's assumed the carton would go to landfill when assessing the substrate's overall environmental impact. While that scenario isn't ideal, it is necessary to recognize that a landfilled carton still has a lower overall impact than a recycled plastic, glass, or aluminum bottle.
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