Soap refill company Gelo is salvaging soap dispensers from other brand

While you order a starter equipment from Gelo, which makes pods of concentrated hand soap, you normally get a Gelo-brand soap bottle so that you can refill time and again. However should you order Gelo’s Soap Bottle Salvage kits, you get a cheeky little additional: an empty bottle from one other soap brand, corresponding to Methodology or Softsoap. It wasn’t a cross-brand partnership—Gelo says it rescued these other bottles from dumpsters or individuals who would have thrown them away and aimed to present them a second life as refillable soap dispensers.

“A part of Gelo’s DNA as a brand is actually about selling reuse and refill as a substitute for shopping for new plastic,” says Gelo CEO and founder Curan Mehra. Gelo first launched with foaming hand-soap refills that want a particular dispenser pump, however its liquid gel refills can be utilized with any common soap pump, and the kits, created in partnership with artistic company Mischief @ No Mounted Tackle, confirmed that. “There’s no motive to throw out stuff that’s good,” Mehra says.

Gelo initially made about 800 Soap Bottle Salvage kits, with cleaned bottles recovered from family and friends and “slightly little bit of dumpster diving in Midtown Manhattan,” Mehra says. The kits got here with the salvaged bottle, a pouch of soap refill pods—one pouch comes with 5 pods, which utterly dissolve in water, which Gelo says ends in 97% much less packaging waste in comparison with the identical variety of single-use plastic soap bottles—and Gelo labels to stay on.

[Photo: Courtesy of Gelo]

The Soap Bottle Salvage kits are presently bought out and are possible a restricted run; Mehra says Gelo doesn’t “have to be within the enterprise of transport salvaged bottles so long as customers on their very own are salvaging them,” because it’s not value the additional carbon price of transport them in the long term. However Gelo does plan to replenish the availability for a number of extra and says it’s in talks with native recycling facilities. The company is additionally speaking to a couple retailers for a program the place prospects can commerce of their previous plastic soap bottles and swap to Gelo.


Gelo says it’s already helped divert greater than 1 million bottles from landfills since launching final yr. Single-use plastic hand-soap bottles are a part of the general plastic downside; in 2016, 396 million metric tons of plastic had been produced, the overwhelming majority of which didn’t get recycled. (Some manufacturers do provide soap bottles made with recycled plastic; Method, for instance, has a line of recovered ocean-plastic bottles.) By eradicating each the bottle and the water, Gelo says it saves on transport emissions, too; transport the refills, per the company, cuts transportation emissions by 93% in comparison with the equal quantity of single-use bottles.

Individuals are, after all, additionally inspired to make use of no matter soap bottles they have already got with the refill pods, and so they may even print out a Gelo label on-line, in the event that they actually need, to stay on any other brand’s bottle. “Whether or not you do or not,” Mehra says, “the concept is simply [to] have a look at that bottle as one thing that has greater than only a single life.”