New product on the Croatian market chosen as the winner of the Plastic Smart Gadget competition

A total of 3 applications were received for the Competition for the selection of the best conceptual solution for the Plastic Smart Gadget within the Plastic Smart Cities Croatia project for the city of Dubrovnik. The Competition was open from June 1st to June 30th 2021. The task was to make a reusable items that strongly contribute to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste generation and encourage the individual to adopt the principle of “reuse”. Also, the item was supposed to contain an element of innovation as well as meet a number of other criteria. More information about the Competition itself is available here.

A five-member Commission composed of two representatives of the Association Sunce Split, two representatives of the City of Dubrovnik and one external associate selected the pero® zero refill starter set “Slobodo” from the Croatian company HORTIRIVIERA d.o.o. which consists of 100% natural water-soluble powder refill gel for washing hands, hair and body with an autochthonous fragrant blend of Dubrovnik herbs and reusable glass bottles with a refillable dispenser.

The refill set is called SLOBODO (freedom), and will come packaged in recycled cardboard packaging with recognizable Dubrovnik City logo and the Plastic Smart Cities logo. The outer packaging will feature motifs of local herbs responsible for the authentic fragrant signature of Dubrovnik, which is represented in the final product – a combination of rose petals and essential oils of laurel, bitter orange, lemon, cypress with organic Adriatic sea salt. The very name of the set “Slobodo” (freedom) alludes to the recognizable slogan of the City “Libertas” and the verses of Gundulić’s Ode to Freedom. The motif is reflected in the basic purpose and function of the conceptual solution – liberation from plastics, from the mentality of mass consumption and simple rejection of things. The set emphasizes the connection between Dubrovnik and freedom in terms of the Plastic Smart City, which is moving towards liberation from plastic.

The product is used by pouring up to 470 ml of lukewarm tap water into the bottle and then adding refill powder, closing the bottle with the supplied dispenser and shaking gently to activate the herbal ingredients. The product is immediately ready for use, and in 10 minutes it is completely homogenized into a gel-like texture for washing hands, body and hair. The product is completely natural, made from environmentally certified ingredients, a simple formulation from which all unnecessary ingredients are excluded (SLS, preservatives, parabens, silicones, sulfates, alcohols, artificial fragrances, dyes). It contains a blend of essential oils authentic for Dubrovnik, so it provides a unique experience when used.

According to the applicants, the personal hygiene industry is one of the largest producers and polluters of disposable plastic packaging. It is estimated that almost 120 billion tons of disposable plastic containers for shower gels, soaps, shampoos, detergents are produced annually. Water makes up almost 70% of such products, and it is water that is responsible for the volume of these products and the necessity for plastic containers. The goal is to make the zero-waste option available, through eco-soluble concentrates and a reusable bottle. By taking away water, only the necessary active natural ingredients are retained in the product, which in contact with ordinary drinking water from the tap become a shower gel, hair shampoo, hand washing soap. The water-deprived product is easy to transport and completely eliminates the use of disposable packaging, including plastic bottles, thus reducing CO2 emissions by more than 85%. Such products contain 99.2% less plastic compared to conventional products, and reduce plastic waste in everyday life and household waste of the inhabitants of the city of Dubrovnik by 25%. Pero® zero refill significantly contributes to the reduction of disposable plastics in the environment, and transmits a strong authentic experiential component – aromatic gel for washing hands and body will carry a specially created indigenous herbal fragrance blend of Dubrovnik using oils and raw materials from local producers. The water-soluble powder canister is packed in the currently most advanced recycling monomaterial made of polyethylene, which, unlike “paper” packaging, has only one layer of identical material, so it is suitable for direct recycling (which is the goal of all recyclable materials). Due to the necessary barrier properties that should protect the physico-chemical properties of natural raw materials and the volatility of essential oils in powder, the monomaterial is the best choice. In addition, the long-term, reusable bottle is made of glass. Glass is a 100% recyclable material, which can be recycled and recycled endlessly without losing quality.