Those little cylindrical bottles may not look like much, but they contain an important package design innovation. Aptar's "airless" cosmetics dispensers contain no rubber gasket sealing the product in and no metal spring to handle the return action of the pump: Instead some unnamed designers/engineers have slaved away to construct the four-part pump, seal and container entirely of plastic parts.
This has two significances: One, the airless design means every last drop of product can be evacuated, reducing waste. Two, the entire package can be easily recycled without the need for separation. As we saw in an earlier post on plastic recycling facilities, they are required to have special machines to separate the metal from the plastic. While we're still a long ways off, due to the wide variety of manufacturing techniques, from being able to eliminate this step from the process entirely, Aptar's product is an important early step in a package design revolution on the design and manufacturing end. If things go right, those little bottles you see above will one day make their way into ID history textbooks.
Like Procter & Gamble's Be Green Packaging, Aptar's Airless Cosmetics Dispenser was also a Diamond Winner in the 23rd DuPont Packaging Awards.