Dr. Bronner’s launches new pure-castile liquid soap refill carton to reduce plastic use

Top-selling natural brand of soap continues legacy of innovation in modeling sustainable packaging solutions

Dr. Bronner’s, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, has launched a new 32 oz. carton package for its Pure-Castile Liquid Soap.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton is part of an ongoing effort by the company to reduce its plastic use and production. The Refill Carton is intended for customers to use to refill existing bottles or other containers for cleaning and personal care use.

By purchasing a 32 oz. Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton, customers will reduce their plastic use by 82% compared to the company’s 32 oz. bottles. The plastic bottles Dr. Bronner’s uses to package its liquid soap line are made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, a practice Dr. Bronner’s helped pioneer more than fifteen years ago. The company was among the first American companies to package liquid soaps in 100% PCR plastic bottles.

David Bronner being cosmic

Prior to developing the Refill Carton Dr. Bronner’s conducted a life cycle analysis to determine the most ecological packaging for a refill offering. To see the life cycle analysis and learn more about Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton, please visit:

_“We created our Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton to reduce the number of plastic bottles we put into the world,” _

said David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s.

“We’re proud that we created a substantial end market for PCR plastic. Ideally, the recycling rate for plastic bottles in this country would be close to 100%. Unfortunately, the rate is closer to 30%, and disposal of plastic packaging in landfills is not sustainable. We commissioned a life cycle analysis looking at what packaging material was most ecological to package our refill offering in: paper carton vs. aluminum vs. glass vs. plastic. The paper carton performed the best on every relevant ecological impact measure even when accounting for the recycling rates of each material, nationally.”

The cartons are designed as a container for refilling bottles because the carton packaging itself will not withstand continued use in the shower or bath as it is made mostly of paper. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton is designed to allow customers to buy a PCR plastic bottle once and refill it using the carton in the future, thereby reducing their plastic footprint overall.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap Refill Carton is made from 69% Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, 5% aluminum, and 26% polyethylene with a polypropylene cap. The Refill Carton reduces plastic consumption by 82% per quart compared to Dr. Bronner’s 32 oz. PCR bottles.

Typical carton packages for juice or plant-based milks have an interior wax lining, however, soap deteriorates this lining. To address this, the carton has a thin interior plastic lining, which greatly reduces the total amount of plastic needed to contain the soap.

While recycling programs vary throughout the country, a life cycle analysis on various packaging options determined this as the most sustainable single use packaging option over glass, recycled aluminum, recycled plastic, and paper bottle with a plastic bladder. More information about what local recycling facilities accept is available at:

“Dr. Bronner’s and our customers are very eco-conscious. We seek to ‘Treat the Earth Like Home’ in all we do. For years, our customers have been asking us to package our soap with less plastic. This new packaging is a crucial step in addressing our plastic use as a company,”

said Michael Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s.

“This year is the 75th anniversary of my grandfather founding the company. While we have so much history to celebrate—we are also looking to the future by improving our packaging. It is imperative that we reduce our collective use of plastic on Earth.”

Dr. Bronner’s new Refill Carton is available online at beginning July 10, 2023. The website will also include additional information about how to use the carton, and its environmental impact.