Background & Objective
Each year, North Americans consume and discard over a billion plastic cleaning bottles. Just manufacturing that many spray bottles takes a toll on the planet – an entire gallon of crude oil is required to produce just 29 spray bottles. That means millions of gallons of oil, a non-renewable resource, could be saved by shifting away from wasteful, single-use plastic spray bottles.
The iQ cleaning line of reusable bottles and sprayers, and the patented REFill (Reduced Environmental Footprint) concentrate cartridges means less plastic in landfills and in our oceans, fewer trucks on the road and a carbon footprint reduction of over 70% compared with conventional cleaners. This means iQ cleaning line can cut out the majority of the water that is shipped around unnecessarily and reduce packaging waste by 80%. This is why the product is called: iQ, ‘The Smarter Cleaner’.
Concept & Implementation
iQ is a unique, environmentally advantageous packaging system that consists of small cartridges containing concentrated cleaning solutions. When added to a specially designed spray bottle that the consumer can pre-fill with their own tap water, the cartridge releases the concentrate into the spray bottle. Then with a quick mix, the product is ready to use. The result is a packaging system that reduces plastic waste by 80% and eliminates the need to ship unnecessary packaging and water, reducing the carbon footprint by 70%. Planet People believe that with these benefits they have created a product that is both unique and attention grabbing.
The iQ bottle itself is made from PET and the cartridges and triggers are made of polypropylene, all of which are recyclable. There are other methods of dissolvable cartridges, however these cannot have contact with any humidity and as a result require more packaging to store them. The iQ cartridges provide a definite environmental advantage in this respect.
The goal is to make iQ a mass market solution that can replace wasteful, traditional cleaners. As such Planet People have designed their proposition to meet general consumer needs who shop through both mass and specialty channels. These consumers are looking for high performance products that are effective, but often also looking for ‘greener’ product, as they are becoming more concerned about the impacts of toxic chemicals on their health. Planet People have found that typically this audience is female skewed, between the ages 25-55 and is a homeowner.
iQ delivers a number of benefits to the consumer, their homes and the environment:
1. Value to the consumer: By decreasing packaging and water weight, iQ cartridge technology reduces transportation costs and the carbon footprint by 70%. These value chain efficiencies are passed on to the consumer, who will save 20-25% off the cost vs. traditional cleaning solutions.
2. Value to the environment: iQ helps consumers save the planet in at least two ways. First, green chemistry prevents the introduction of toxic solutions into the environment. Second, the distribution of the unique packaging results in a significantly smaller environmental footprint compared with traditional RTU cleaning products. The equivalent package of iQ REFills, a concentrated cartridge, is 98% smaller than traditional spray bottles, requiring less storage space and significantly reducing the amount of cardboard packaging. And because water is added at the user’s location, the shipping weight is reduced by 97%. In addition, the same spray bottle can be re-used repeatedly, which means 80% less plastic waste.
3. A complement to the home environment: Many consumers are looking for personal care and cleaning solutions that complement and even enrich their home decor. It makes sense for IQ to adopt this design approach given that the spray bottle itself has a long shelf life in the consumer’s home and will be reused over and over again.
“We believe that believe that iQ can make a significant environment improvement on the cleaning industry. In the past consumers have not adopted concentrates because they are messy, require measuring and can seem tedious. iQ cartridges are easy and affordable making it something, we hope, that consumers can easily adopt and reduce waste.”