2nd September 2020

NOW – ALPLA presents innovative refill packaging

Refill containers are becoming increasingly popular for cleaning products. The reasons why are plain to see. They are small and light, consume significantly less plastic, reduce freight expenses by up to 90 per cent and let sophisticated spray bottles be reused. With NOW, ALPLA is presenting an ideal packaging solution for concentrated cleaning chemicals. Alongside the numerous environmental benefits, it also offers special added value: it is safe, easy and fun for consumers to use.

Smart and safe refills

Many cleaning products consist mostly of water. That is why it is a good idea both ecologically and economically to provide the active ingredients in a concentrated form. ALPLA has developed an ideal solution for this application in the form of NOW. The packaging solution consists of two elements:

  • A small bottle with liquid concentrate. The snap lid developed especially for it features a predetermined breaking point, yet it still seals the bottle safely.
  • Minimalist neck inset: the inset is inserted into the cleaner bottle and allows for an easy press through the predetermined breaking point. The neck inset remains in the neck of the bottle while the spray nozzle can be screwed back on without a problem.

All the consumer needs to do is follow the instructions on the refill container. The small bottle is plugged head first onto the cleaner bottle. The concentrate flows safely and cleanly into the bottle after an audible click. When used properly, it is impossible to spill the concentrated liquid and encounter undesired contact with the skin. The process is concluded by adding water.

Sustainable on all levels

NOW consistently realises the three core principles of the circular economy: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Reduce: NOW is ultra-lightweight. The container weighs only 10 grams when filled with 80 millilitres, approximately half the weight of comparable competitor products for concentrates. Compared to containers for ready-to-use cleaning products, this packaging solution saves even more than 80 per cent of the material otherwise used. Thanks to the light weight and minimal size, freight expenses are also reduced by up to 90 per cent because more than 200,000 refill containers can be carried by a single truck. A lorry only has space for roughly 19,000 spray bottles in comparison. Unlike spray bottles, refill containers are also much better suited to e-commerce deliveries.

The handy size also offers benefits for consumers. If household cleaners are more often bought during large grocery runs, refill containers can be picked up on the spur of the moment at any time without having to be lugged back on foot or by bicycle.

Reuse: many household cleaning products sport heavy and elaborate packaging, which applies to spray bottles in particular. However, spray bottles, which release a volume of about 1.5 millilitres per pump, become rubbish after roughly 300 pumps even if they are still usable. With refill solutions for these cleaning products, spray bottles can be reused over and over again. The inset needed to press through the predetermined breaking point in the closure stays in the bottle and is reused as a result.

Recycle: NOW is made 100 per cent of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The empty container is fully recyclable and can be disposed of in the recycling sack or bin. Since the refill container is attached head first onto the cleaning product bottle, the remaining contents are discharged optimally. Recycled HDPE can be used to manufacture the refill container, making a bottle-to-bottle life cycle possible.


The concentrate flows safely and cleanly into the bottle after an audible click.

Author profile


Danilo Grieco, Project Manager for Innovation

After studying Nutritional Science at the University of Vienna and packaging technology at FH Campus Vienna University of Applied Sciences, Danilo Grieco worked as a research associate at FH Campus Vienna. The 32-year-old has been an ALPLA employee since 2017. He started his career as a Food Market Sales Analyst for Central and Eastern Europe. In April 2019 he joined the innovation team and is now responsible for the Reuse search field, among other things.

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