NZ oral health company forging a sustainable future

Sterilising reusable toothpaste tablet and powder bottles is far more efficient for Solid thanks to a recent GPF grant.

Innovative Kiwi-owned and operated toothpaste company Solid is showing reuse is possible for just about any business using washable glass containers.

As part of its mission to be New Zealand’s “most effective and sustainable toothpaste company”, the company offers a refill scheme for the glass packaging of its toothpaste tablets and powder.

A grant from the Glass Packaging Forum has boosted the refill scheme by making the sterilising process far quicker.

“We are really grateful to the Glass Packaging Forum for the support. Solid has had a glass return system in place since the early days of our business. However, as we grew, cleaning and sterilising jars and bottles by hand in buckets of boiling water soon became impractical,” says company Founder Laura Nixon.

The dishwasher bought with the GPF grant has sped up the process, she says, meaning Laura and her team can put more focus on improving the incentives for their stockists and customers to take part in the refill scheme.

“As much as the grant, it was the vote of confidence that we’re doing the right thing, and doing it the right way, which meant a lot. This has helped us communicate the scheme better, led to more people taking part, and meant that we have made more of an impact,” Laura says.

The glass containers can be reused up to 30 times, she says, with over 30 stockists in eight regions around New Zealand. 

Solid’s work has been recognised by the Sustainable Business Network as a finalist in the Going Circular category of its 2021 Sustainable Business Awards. The winners will be announced on 25 November.

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says it’s encouraging to see businesses outside of the food and beverage sector starting to incorporate reuse schemes.

“We saw this with Kiwi beauty company Aleph last year, when we helped them with a grant for their refill scheme, and now Solid is forging a sustainable path in the oral health industry.

“We applaud the work these companies, and others like them are doing. We are very keen to help viable reuse schemes in New Zealand, so we encourage others to get in touch during our funding rounds,” Dominic says.