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Wastage when using pump containers

I find when using moisturiser dispensers with a pump action dispenser that when they are getting close (say 85%) empty one can not access the remaining lotion without turning it upside down each time and thumping it to get the last out.

Surely they can design and produce a dispenser that allows one to avoid wastage?


One way to avoid wastage is to keep the old bottle and after you have used some of the product from a new bottle, pour the dregs from the old bottle into the new bottle.


Also they could mostly solve that by just making sure the “straw” that goes into the fluid inside, is long enough that it reaches/curls on, the bottom of the bottle.


We do exactly this as well. For less viscous contents such as lotions, we remove the pumps and place bottles so that openings are together and allow all the contents to drain into the bottom bottle (we stack them up and leave them for a few hours or overnight). Sometimes a new bottle is needed to be used little to be able to accept all the residues from the old bottle.

I did exactly this earlier today with some handwash pump packs.

Other option is to create a small well in the bottle’s floor that the straw sits in. This might pose automated bottling process as straws would need to be exactly the right length and straight…otherwise the well might be missed.


It might also complicate the manufacture of the container.
A similar problem exists with aerosol cans holding liquids. Any unused product or propellant goes to the waste system. Thereafter one more problem environmentally.

Popular anecdotes for common products is that the packaging - containers often cost more to produce than the contents. Someone I know who had inside knowledge of CUB suggested that beer was an excellent example once all the added Gst, excise, marketing, distribution and various retail costs/profits were added. Although it’s uncommon to have a similar problem getting the last of the contents out compared to a pump pack.

Is the real problem with pump packs that they are pump packs?

Are there alternatives?
For hand wash we buy refills and reuse the pump pack, lotions mostly screw top jars, for detergents pop tops. The notion that the pump top on a container is a single use and one way to landfill outcome is worthy of an industry wide environmentally shonky, IMO. Of course consumers could opt not to buy them and feel the good.

I’ve nothing against pump tops if the pumper is reliable and long lasting, and the container permanent or easy to drain if interchangeable.


Same. And at the end of the pop top, it gets turned upside down and placed in a jar or glass (with poptop closed) so as to be able to use the last of the detergent.


We used to buy “fancy” ceramic pumps for hand wash for the bathrooms but we got sick of them.

They were hard to fill, hard to know when they needed refilling, and did not last long.

We now use Palmolive Anti-Bacterial Lime Liquid Hand Wash pumps which we refill from Dettol Antibacterial Liquid Hand Wash Refresh Refills.

The pumps last and we can see when they need refilling and when we have filled them.

For the kitchen, we use Morningfresh dishwashing liquid and we always manage to get the last out of each bottle with some vigorous shaking whilst holding them upside down.

We have refilled the Morningfresh 400ml bottles from the larger bottles but we generally just buy the small bottles when on special for half price.

However, the great mystery for me is the Schick Hydro Shave Gel Sensitive 198g cans.

When the cans run out, there is no product or propellant left but after one cleans the nozzle, some foam mysteriously always appears by the next day.


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Welcome to the Community! There is no question that pumps are designed to waste product. I use a pump liquid foundation. When I get to the point where nothing comes out of the pump when pressed, I use a screwdriver to get the top off (which I do in the tub as it will splatter) and drain the rest into a small container. The amount that comes out of the bottle is enough to last SIX WEEKS! Along the same vein, cosmetic companies recommend using makeup sponges. Why? Because it soaks up more product than you need so you go through it faster. They won’t change but consumers need to take charge of the situation.


Not a pump container but even more wastefull are deodorant sticks.

They are made with a thin clear plastic cup which the deodorant stick sits in, and the base is turned to propel the stick above the top and to retract it.

The contents cannot be used below the top of the plastic cup, and by this time, the plastic cup is scratching one’s skin.

Turning the base too far results in the plastic cup and remaining product falling out on the vanity bench or the floor.

A post I did in another topic regarding this planned wastage.