We all know that plastic is inevitably damaging our environment, therefore no need to further elaborate on this unforgiving fact. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even matter if consumers want to make a positive impact by for example rinsing-out their shampoo or lotion bottles after use, to properly recycle them. National Geographic, among many other sources and researchers have made one undeniable fact clear; only about 10% of the plastic that we use gets recycled!
Benjamin Stern, a high school student from Melbourne, Florida, learned about this fact through a documentary about the plastic bottling industry. This was back in 2014, and he then realised that he needed to find a way to help eliminate plastic waste in personal care items. So, at the age of 14, Benjamin started his journey to conceptualise NOHBO, which today is the world’s frontrunner in terms of eco-friendly shampoo packaging.
The original NOHBO product came in form of packaging free marbles that were produced from mostly plant-based materials. This initial prototype however, wasn’t stable or practical enough to be produced on a large industrial scale. After a little bit of tinkering a secondary design was created, called “Drop”. This literal drop-shaped item is flash-wrapped in a non-toxic, water resolvable and biodegradable material. In this sense, all you have to do to get the perfect amount of product is to hold one of the drops for two to four seconds under water. The outer skin will dissolve which will let the user put the shampoo on their hair or skin. This is the simple way of eliminating every waste, even the error of wasting shampoo can be circumvented.
The packaging in which the “Drops” come can easily be hung in the shower of simply stacked against the bathroom wall. An additional advantage is that the packaging is made from plastic, gained from sugarcane waste, which is a side-product of sugar mills. This leads the packaging to be entirely compostable. However, NOHBO is not the only personal care company which strives to eliminate plastic packaging. The Lush Cosmetics brand has set the target for themselves to continuously making efforts to release more new package-free products in the personal care industry, without compromising quality of the products.
In conclusion, we will still need plastic packaging solutions in some sectors as well as on certain products, but the overall plastic waste and consumption could be held to a bare minimum if every company tried to be a bit more conscious, like NOHBO.