PACKAGING: Soapack made from soap.

04. July 2019 | via


Soapack bottles can be used as soap once their contents are finished. (Credit: Tom Mannion and Xinjia Zhou)

According to an article on Central Saint Martins post-graduate student Mi Zhou has created toiletry bottles called Soapack that are cast from soap and melt away once they are no longer useful. To make each Soapack, vegetable oil-based soap is dyed using pigments from minerals, plants and flowers and formed in a mould, in a process similar to slip-casting ceramics. A thin layer of beeswax is used to line the bottles to make them waterproof, and prevent the liquid contents from dissolving the bottles before they are used up. Users can keep Soapack bottles in a dry place to preserve them, or rest them on a soap dish and allow them to melt away on contact with water and with use. "It is designed to invite the user to use it or even deconstruct it and make it eventually disappear," Zhou told Dezeen. The project is a response to the disposable nature of regular plastic packaging for toiletries. "Product packaging has always been thrown away, no matter how well-designed or what material it is made of," said Zhou. "I want to re-evaluate what packaging could be as well as help us to reduce our plastic footprint." A standard plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to break down, and non-recycled plastic often ends up polluting the ocean. Having seen edible packaging made for food, Zhou applied the same logic to shampoo and other personal care products.

"As a designer, I want to rethink the current mode of producing and consuming of these products and also critique disposable package materials."

With their delicate stoppers Soapack containers reference perfume bottles, a type of non-plastic packaging that people are less likely to treat as disposable.