Refillable cosmetics stations in Poland Posted by on Sep 14, 2020 in Cosmetics, Countries, Environment

All of you who are waste conscious know that the beauty industry has a plastic problem. From shampoo and conditioner bottles to mascara tubes, the global cosmetics industry contributes significantly to plastic pollution and the statistics are a cause for concern.

Given the alarming facts about garbage inside our oceans and micro-plastics found inside animals’ and people’s food chain, companies started thinking differently about the packaging of stuff they are selling.

Refill strategy (Strategia uzupełnianiais indeed nothing new, it has beed present in our lives for a long time. But refilling cosmetics (uzupełnianie kosmetyków)? That is rather new way to get “greener”. Goodbye disposables (jednorazowe), say hello to refillables (do ponownego napełniania)!

Image by Seksak Kerdkanno from Pixabay

Refill stations (stacje napełniania) are expanding all over the world. Bring your durable bottle and a smile, and get yourself a water refill. Save money and reduce single-use plastics now.

Image by ds_30 from Pixabay

Refill stations can be inside bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and in public spaces. We dream of a world where plastic waste does not exist. But we cannot achieve this alone. The sooner people choose to stop buying single-use plastics, the sooner refilling becomes the norm.

And Poland joined in to try this new trend!!! Carrefour Polska has announced that it is testing a refill station for cosmetics in a Carrefour BIO store in Bemowo, Warsaw (I remember shopping there when I was in college:))!

The retailer has teamed up with the Polish cosmetics brand Yope and startup Swapp to execute the pilot. Yope products purchased via the refill station will be 15% cheaper as it does not include the cost of packaging.Yope offers a range of cosmetics including shower gels, soaps, and lotions, among others. Carrefour has pledged to make 100% of its own-brand packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025 and reduce the weight of its private-label packaging by 5% by 2022 compared to 2017.

The brand Yope does not claim to be zero-waste (yet), however adding refilling experience to their brand image (#vegan #againstanimaltesting #ecological) is a great move regarding latest global events and research findings around plastic pollution. It follows the logic: if you truly want to be ecological and vegan brand, you need to take packaging of your products into account. If it leaks into ecosystems, then it can endanger animals’ health and life. YOPE is definitely listening to their clients, as zero-waste is becoming a sister-value to veganism, among “aware” customers.

Sustainability (zrównoważony rozwójhas become an important concern in the beauty and personal care industry, but its exact meaning to consumers is subject to interpretation. Refillable packaging concepts (koncepcje opakowań wielokrotnego użytkucan help achieve environmental and financial sustainability, but have their own sets of challenges due to the changes required in consumer purchasing behavior. How is the beauty and personal care market introducing refillable packaging to consumers, and is it enough to help solve the sustainability crisis in the long-run?

If you think back, there’s a reason you had to put your empty glass milk bottles back on your doorstep for the milkman the next morning, right?! Something durable like a glass bottle is easy to clean, can be continually refilled, and when the time comes (after many uses and refills), it can be responsibly recycled.

Decreasing the amount of waste created by disposable packaging will be a very difficult task, but with the implementation of different refill processes it may still be possible!

Please let me know if you had an experience with these refill stations anywhere in the world! Can’t wait to hear all about your experience!


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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.