Refill pouches are flexible packages that contain liquid intended to refill permanent or semi-permanent bottles. These pouches typically have a smaller volume compared to the bottle they are refilling, because consumers usually hard bottles them before they are entirely empty.

Most refill pouches are made of a mixture of plastics with 2,3 or even more layers bonded together. 

By bonding different types of plastic together, these pouches are made impossible to recycle.

These layers have different materials to create the necessary durability and barrier performance. 

  • the tough outer layer protects the contents and is suitable for printing, 
  • the barrier layer provides protection against moisture and aroma, and 
  • the sealant layer ensures that the pouch is sealed correctly and doesn't leak or interact with the contents.

Barrier Layers

  • Outer layer: Usually nylon or PET
  • Barrier layer: Usually nylon or a combination of aluminum & PET
  • Sealant layer: Usually polyethylene or Polypropylene

Some designs may have even more layers.

So is it green?

Refill packs have 2 major advantages over rigid containers:

  • they are lighter
  • they can be packed more efficiently with less wasted space

These properties mean that they require less energy to store and transport.

Likewise, once used, empty pouches take up significantly less space than empty rigid containers, making them more efficient to transport to disposal facilities. As a result, they require fewer resources and reduce the environmental impact of waste transportation.

So while they cannot be recycled, they are a better choice for reducing carbon emissions. 

Keep using them.