A Canadian college student and social entrepreneur has a plan to reduce plastic waste by replacing single-use shampoo bottles with dry tablets that turn into liquid shampoo in the shower.
Marissa Vettoretti, a business major at Wilfred Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo, Ontario, and her team were finalists in a social entrepreneurship competition at the Enactus Canada National Exposition held last week in Toronto. They founded EarthSuds, a social enterprise aimed at eliminating the 5.7 billion plastic toiletry bottles used by hotels in Canada and the U.S.—and then dumped into landfills—every year.
These single-use plastic bottles are too small and have too much product residue to be recycled.
For a more sustainable solution, Vettoretti’s company has developed tiny solid tablets that turn into liquid shampoo, conditioner and body wash when water is added. The tablets are made of the same ingredients used in those commercial toiletries and were developed in a WLU campus laboratory by volunteer chemistry students. “You take a tablet into the shower, and when you add water to it, it starts to dissolve and foam up, and it basically becomes just normal liquid shampoo,” Vettoretti told The Waterloo Region Record.
To further eliminate waste and contribute to a circular economy, EarthSuds products are packaged in reusable metal tins. Hotel cleaning staff can simply refill the tins with new EarthSuds tablets each day.