This idea is a part of 360 Challenge 2019
What is the business model of Flacon?
Flacon is a circular solution to packaging waste in the hotel industry. As it is now most hotels provide their customers with small plastic containers for shampoo and shower gel that are thrown away after a single (if any) use. Flacon will instead offer a reuse service system of collecting, cleaning, refilling and returning our flacons with bio soap and shampoos for hotels. We aim at having our flacons produced out of recycled Danish waste to offer a completely circular service with zero new plastics introduced.
Flacon is a B2B business primarily targeting Danish hotels in the medium to high-end price-range. Later, we will expand our service to high-end restaurants needing soap and hand creams, conference centers as well as company offices with green profiles.
This is a new way of doing packaging and Flacon will be a completely new part in the value chain for providing personal care products. Flacon will be a mediator between hotel industry, personal care product suppliers and packaging producers and ensuring the circular reuse system between them. Strong and long-lasting partnerships with not only the end clients, but also personal care suppliers and packaging supplier is a crucial part of the business model.
What is the environmental impact of Flacon?
Plastics are highly durable, slowly degrading and CO2 intensive, hence polluting our land-based environments and endangering our oceans. Moving from single-use to reuse not only helps eliminate plastic waste and pollution but also, if done well, Flacon's product and service will offer significant reductions in CO2.
A hotel operating with 100 guests a night can go through 109.500 single-use bottles over the course of a year. This amounts to more than 700 kilograms of plastic waste – or more than 1.4 tons of CO2 when being incinerated.These figures not only demonstrate environmental abuse, but also wasted economic opportunities.
Reuse models are sometimes considered burdensome or a thing of the past. With the growing plastic pollution problem, the realization that we need to value our resources more and climate change – the innovation potential of reuse systems has become more than relevant again.
What is Flacon's market potential?
There is a widespread momentum for finding new packaging solutions as many factors pushes the hotel industry away from traditional single-use plastics. This includes legislation, costumer demands and demands within the industry. Furthermore, many personal care producers already have their focus on sustainable packaging in e.g. bio- or recycled plastics.
With Flacon we would supply a new type of solution – of circularity and reuse. By reusing our products we can invest in and deliver packing of higher quality that looks better and works better than traditional single-use packaging.We are not the first entrepreneurs to think in this direction; a small number of circular packaging solutions are popping up such as the circular coffee cup in Freiburg, take away boxes in Bern and refillable packaging Loop6. All of these have received a lot of attention, showing a general support for reuse. We are, however, the first taking reuse systems to the personal care industry and making it B2B.
The current potential of the market is difficult to assess, because we are introducing a new way of doing packaging that is innovative and potentially disruptive. If we succeed, the potential is huge; the direct market of hotels is already quite big, which will allow us to scale our business at a rapid pace. If we successfully develop a financially and environmentally feasible reuse system, we have all intention of branching out to other packaging areas too.
The story of Flacon starts at a election course at CBS in social entrepreneurship in winther 2018, where founders Stine, Michelle, Verena and Vittoria connected over a shared commitment to environmental change.
For Flacon, year 2019 is our development and prototyping playground. We are currently collaborating with the Municipality of Copenhagen in their Testlab in the waste management facility for prototyping. We have our MVP and are starting a small-scale pilot study within the month to test our product and connected service in practice. .Alongside this, we are also working on maintaining and establishing valuable partnerships.
We expect to stand ready with a product, full service, partnerships and the first clients by beginning of 2020.
- Goal year 1: 25 hotels (subscription of min. 6 months)
- Goal year 2: 50 hotels (subscription of min. 6 months) in Copenhagen. First non-hotel clients. Exploration of new markets for the reuse solution.
- Goal year 3: 100+ hotels (subscription of min. 6 months). Expansion to other Danish cities and/or other big European cities. Beginning expansion to new markets for the reuse solution