[CHALLENGE] Circular economy cosmetic bottles

Sustainability-conscious cosmetic companies are running take-back schemes with their bottles. But many of the collected post-consumed bottles either not recycled non-circular way, or recycled into something else at most.


  • Different materials are often combined in one bottle: PP, PE, PET, ABS, glass
  • Aggressive marketing of FMCG: fancy coatings and additives difficult to take off
  • Greasy contents: needs intense cleaning
  • More expensive to use recycled materials
  • Hygienic concerns for reused bottles


  • Eco design bottles that can be reprocessed into a bottle again, keeping the market competitiveness
  • New approach to the cosmetics distribution system: product-> service

Making great progress so far! We have discussed our ideas and thought about different design concepts. We have decided to create a universal design for one component of the cosmetic bottle that can be reused and recycled easily. We have chosen to make a removable cartridge containing the cream, that can clip into the original container.
Once the customer has finished using the product, they can send their cartridges back to the shop to be recycled by the company. They can then buy a refill cartridge to clip back into the original container.

We are now in the process of designing the specifics of our new cartridge and drawing this in CAD. We plan to make a prototype using a 3D printer in the Fab Lab!


We all came in this morning to find out first prototype designed. Being the alpha version, it is quite a good start, but will need one more decision before reaching the beta stage of a final sample. Here are some photos uploaded of our 3d printed.

The detachable part needs some modification with a thin outer rim to make it easier to clasp when removing.
In the process of designing the logo for the project, Clear Cycle Cartridges, animated with 3 Cs in a circular motion connected with arrows signifying circularity.


Celebrating the 3d print with balloons

3D Printer in action!!!

Using the Laser Cutter to make a box!

Team in action, planning and developing concepts.

Retail market research, taking a trip to Boots to analyse current cosmetic bottle types

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Thanks to the unbeatable Bottle Beetles, the project went fantastically. Oh how can I ask for more? It was the best ever group project experience I’ve ever had. All of us stayed intact from the beginning to the end, and were so enthusiastic to contribute more to the project, Whoa. The responsibility to bring it forward and share with the team is on me now. Love you all! C x

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Here we go Bottle Beetles!