Reuse-and-refill is one of a suite of solutions that consumer goods companies are introducing to facilitate more responsible use of packaging. Consumers expect companies to help make more sustainable consumption easier, while companies rely on consumers to embrace improvements to their products.
Some Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health brands — including JOHNSON’S® Baby, Aveeno®, OGX® and Le Petit Marseillais® — are launching reuse-and-refill packaging to support consumers’ desire for products that use less packaging and the company’s commitment to reduce its environmental footprint. Transitioning to reuse-and-refill models for a range of products including cleansers, lotions, and baby care and hair care products gives consumers the option to minimize the amount of plastics bottles in their bathrooms.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health’s commitment to more sustainable packaging is a key feature of its Healthy Lives Mission, launched in 2020, which has two specific reuse targets: Reuse models expanded by 2022; and 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025.
The company is one of over 500 organizations joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, working to overcome challenges in the sustainable use of plastic packaging. Companies representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally have committed to ambitious 2025 targets to help realise a common vision of a circular economy for plastics — and consumer demand has been a key factor in this shift.
Kearney’s 2020 Earth Day survey of US consumers’ attitudes toward environmental products showed a significantly growing number of respondents are opting out of single-use plastics. The survey indicated a 164 percent increase in buying in bulk, related to actions aimed at reducing single-use plastics. Asked about their future plans, 59 percent of respondents say they intend to take reusable shopping bags to stores and 57 percent said they were very likely to carry reusable mugs/bottles.
How, then, is Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health planning to meet this demand for reusable packaging? Reuse models are being introduced by some of the company’s iconic brands, which have integrated sustainability into their brand strategies and are designing products with the health of both people and planet in mind.
Thirty years ago, EMEA-based brand Le Petit Marseillais kicked off its sustainability ambitions through the launch of eco-refills for its lotions, soaps and other products. The launch of its first certified organic shower gel — a sulfate-free formula with 98 percent natural ingredients — in Europe last year was the ideal opportunity to feature reusable and refillable bottles. The brand has also launched two large-sized refill bottles for hand soap, eliminating up to 3.4 tons of plastic every year.
Le Petit Marseillais is now offering another breakthrough, with the launch of its first-ever refill station. Available in Monoprix’s flagship store in Paris, this eco-responsible innovation uses 94 percent less plastic compared to the previous packaging and allows consumers to reuse their bottles.
Meanwhile, this year Aveeno plans to launch new refill formats for body washes and lotions that use 80 percent less plastic compared to the existing packaging. Development is also underway for OGX refill pouches and solid shampoo and conditioner bars for hair care.
“The global scale of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health means we can leverage experiences and insights across our brands and regions,” says Katie Decker, the company’s Global President of Essential Health, Healthy Lives and Global Customer Engagement. “Learnings from the reuse-and-refill models in EMEA are informing plans to expand our packaging innovations globally.”
In the region, JOHNSON’S Baby is announcing the launch of its new refills range, sold in recyclable paper-based1 cartons containing 90 percent less plastic2 compared to existing JOHNSON’S Baby toiletry bottles1.
“We know that most parents become more concerned about sustainability after becoming a parent3,” says Sophie Rasmussen, the company’s VP of EMEA Essential Health and Sustainability. “By taking action to develop more sustainable products for our Baby care range, including JOHNSON’S new eco-refills, we are building for a better tomorrow.”
The new easy-pour, eco-refill cartons for JOHNSON’S Baby Shampoo, Bedtime Bath and Top-to-Toe Wash are available across 20 EMEA markets. Made predominantly from FSC Mix certified paper, the cartons contain a reduced amount of plastic — roughly 8g per 1L pack — to protect the formula inside and maintain the pack structure.
The company estimates that if every JOHNSON’S Baby toiletry pack bought in the last year was replaced by a refill, it would save 1,675 tons of plastic packaging.
As part of its Healthy Lives Mission, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is also investing in partnerships and cross-industry collaborations. In addition to being a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, in 2021 the company joined the Consumer Goods Forum’s Plastics Waste Coalition of Action — which consists of companies committed to using less plastic, better plastic and supporting effective reuse and recycling systems. Through this forum, the company has helped develop and endorse new industry design rules for sustainable packaging.
1. 76 percent paper, 24 percent plastic.
2. 90 percent less plastic vs. 2x500ml bottles.
3. Sturm und Drang Essential Health Sustainability Research EMEA, July 2020. 71 percent of parents say they have become more concerned about sustainability since becoming a parent.