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NIVEA launches its first shower gel refill station to reduce plastic packaging waste

German skincare manufacturer beiersdorf is on a mission to minimize, slow down, reduce, and close its material cycles. with a focus on plastic packaging, beiersdorf’s biggest global brand, NIVEA, has just launched its first shower gel refill station. the prototype, which will be in select DM stores in hamburg and ettlingen, will investigate the concept of reusable bottles with consumers. the machine has been designed, developed, and engineered by a cross-functional team within beiersdorf’s global packaging and R&D functions.

‘First, we had to understand and define the consumer and shopper experience to design a holistic solution’ says caroline zia, senior formula developer at beiersdorf. ‘while the concept of refilling is not entirely new, the personal care category does not boast widespread use of this technology yet. we had to identify the best possible scenario for the consumer and for sustainability. not all formulations are suitable for such a concept. the formulations need to withstand the additional burden of refilling and we had to carefully choose our products after extensive internal testing. also the machine had to be programmed for additional cleaning protocols. this way we could guarantee multiple filling loops and still meet our safety and sustainability criteria,’ she says.

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