The package comes in two parts, a dispenser and a refill pack (Twispak).
Twisting the base of the pot dispenses a precise amount of the cream through a small aperture in the top of the refill. When empty, the Twispak can then be replaced and the dispenser reused again and again.
This saves on both manufacturing costs and improves the environmental footprint of the package, explained the founder of the company, Colin Fitzpatrick.
“Rather than cutting down on the packaging altogether, we are addressing the green issue by using a refill which allows us to retain the glamour of the product,” he told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
“We think of this as a pot for life; when you do the calculations the savings made by the refills are really quite impressive.”
Financial and environmental savings
As the volume of material used to produce the Twispak is significantly less than the dispensing pot, repeated use of the refills saves on plastic. According to the company, material savings of up to 50 per cent can be made over a 1-2 year period, rising to 75 per cent over a 3-4 year period.
In addition to the environmental benefits – the refill is also recyclable – the decrease in materials used can help manufacturers make financial savings. According to Fitzpatrick, the cost of manufacturing the refill is one seventh of that of the dispenser.
Twistub also claims that the packaging system can help reduce contamination of the product as consumers do not need to put their fingers into the pot. The company suggests that this, along with a reduction in exposure to air, could result in a potential reduction of preservative levels in the formulation.
Pushing for loyalty
For Fitzpatrick, the refill concept can really add to the strength of a brand as it promotes customer loyalty.
“It is not often that you get a product with more than one usp [unique selling point]. With the Twistub you are creating a relationship between the consumer and the brand, its paradise for a marketer,” he said.
The refillable dispensing system is based on a miniature mastic gun in a piston cylinder, Fitzpatrick explained.
It expels a controlled and precise dose of the cream out of the aperture onto a collecting surface that can then be removed by the consumer. Any excess is ‘sucked back’ into the refill.
The mechanism has been patented and the company are now in talks with a number of cosmetics manufacturers interested in the innovation.