Refill Pouch Series: Spoutless Single-Use Refill Pouch

[Think Beyond Packaging – Innovative and Sustainable Packaging Solutions]

Refill pouches are growing packaging for liquids as a sustainable packaging option. Many brands wish to hit both refillable and recyclable for their refill system. Yet, it is still challenging to protect and maintain products with monomaterial liquid flexible pouch due to performance limitations. Besides, recyclability depends on the products. That means that utilizing monomaterial packaging doesn’t define the actual recyclability.


“The packaging itself might be recyclable, but it is the contents that determine recyclability. Some liquids may be eligible for store-drop off, and others may not.”

From MONOSOLUTIONS™ Vol. 2 – Stand-up pouch, sustainable liquid pouch



However, one thing for certain is that switching to a refill system, even if the pouch is a multilayer structure, reduces environmental impact significantly. While many refill systems in the US market use a stand-up pouch with a spout regardless of the product applications, there are ways to improve sustainability with refill pouch even further without using monomaterial or PCR (post-consumer recycled) material. This blog will go over why you may consider a spoutless single-use refill pouch and the type of packaging options you have.


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Reasons to choose a single-use refill pouch

Refill pouches can be single-use or multi-use. The extra-Large refill pouch is a perfect solution for a multi-use refill pouch, such as laundry detergent and hand soap applications. On the other hand, some products are more suitable for a single-use refill pouch. Reasons can be,

  1. Products that last long
  2. Products are expensive


Many cosmetic products are likely to fit these criteria. The product examples are toner, lotion, and cleanser.



Spoutless single-use refill pouches

A refill pouch with a spout is the common in the US market. However, if your products need a single-use refill, a spoutless refill pouch can be a great alternative. A spoutless single-use refill pouch is an eco-friendlier option compared to a refill pouch with a spout by removing a fitment. For example, a 375ml flexible pouch with a spout weighs approximately 10 grams which is tremendously lighter than a rigid bottle. On the other hand, a 375ml spoutless flexible pouch weighs only 8 grams. The difference may only be 2 grams, but that is a 20% reduction in overall packaging weight. There is a variety of spoutless single-use refill pouch formats.

♦ Flat pouch

A cosmetic sample sachet is an excellent example. A flat pouch is simple to manufacture. It typically has a tear-off section for easy opening, but the pouch usually does not have a proper liquid channel making it difficult to refill, especially for thin liquids. In addition, since the flat pouch lacks a bottom gusset, it does not have a strong shelf presence.

♦ Stand-up pouch without functional channel

This type of packaging is often used for dry products and is not very common for liquid. Thicker products such as facial cream will likely work fine with this. But for thin liquids, it is easy to spill without establishing a proper liquid channel.

♦ Stand-up pouch with a functional channel

This type of refill pouch is popular in regions where refill pouches are already established in the market. Many of them can change the opening designs depending on the product viscosity. So, a stand-up pouch with a functional channel is suitable for a wide range of products. Examples are ZACROS’s Flowpack NT and PL. This type of spoutless refill pouch gives the functionality of a stand-up spout pouch while minimizing the plastic usage in packaging.





Refill pouches are game-changing proven liquid packaging to improve overall packaging sustainability. In addition to the sustainability benefits, refill pouches offer high durability and performance. Evacuation is one of the performances that a refill pouch is superior to rigid packaging. Most of us have an experience with a bottle struggling to get all the contents out. Unlike a bottle, a refill pouch can quickly and easily empty by squeezing it. A refill system is a win-win solution for brands, consumers, and the environment. Understanding different types of refill pouches help you navigate finding the packaging solution that fits your sustainability requirements and customers’ needs.


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Where to start with your refill pouch project?

You may think a refill pouch is just a spout pouch, but there are many elements, including size, material, closure, design, and sustainability requirements. When you have liquids, it is critical to work with suppliers who are knowledgeable about liquid flexible pouches and have comprehensive packaging options.

ZACROS has over 25 years of refill pouch experience and continues to innovate to provide a wide range of sustainable packaging options. We work with our customers from material selections to filling assistants to launch refill pouch products successfully. Contact us today to discuss your project.