Welsh innovation leads sustainable revolution in healthcare: Waterless launches world’s first biodegradable shampoo cap

Reducing plastic waste and cutting costs in healthcare, Swansea-based Waterless unveils a revolutionary, eco-friendly shampoo cap.

Waterless, a pioneer in sustainable healthcare solutions, has launched the world’s first 100% biodegradable shampoo cap. Developed in Swansea, this innovative product is poised to transform hygiene practices in the healthcare sector by providing an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional non-recyclable shampoo caps.

Shampoo caps, commonly used in healthcare settings for bed-bound or mobility-impaired people, offer a convenient, rinse-free solution for hair washing. However, the widespread use of conventional plastic-based caps poses a significant environmental challenge, contributing substantially to single-use plastic waste.

In response, Waterless has developed the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, a product entirely crafted from biodegradable materials. This sustainable alternative retains the convenience and effectiveness of traditional shampoo caps while addressing environmental concerns.

With the NHS estimated to use 300,000 traditional shampoo caps every year, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap could substantially reduce the millions of tonnes of single-use plastic waste generated annually.


The application of the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is simple and efficient. Users or caregivers wrap around the hair, massage it to activate the shampoo, and then towel off the solution to remove any residue, leaving the hair soft and clean. This process eliminates the need for additional water or rinsing, offering a practical solution in patient care. Unlike traditional plastic-based caps, which add to landfill waste, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap presents a pioneering eco-friendly option for a competitive retail price of £1.89 per wrap.


Established in 2009 as a family business, Waterless has rapidly evolved into a leader in alternative eco-wash solutions for health and personal care. Operating from a purpose-built facility in Swansea, the company’s skilled team devise and manufactures innovative products like the new Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, ‘towel off’ cleansing foams, alcohol-free sanitisers, and even a pet range for cleaning fox mess.

Waterless is committed to UK manufacturing and serves a diverse clientele, including the NHS, care industry, commercial businesses, and the pharmaceutical and retail sectors.


Jess Efford, CEO of Waterless, shared her enthusiasm for the new product:

“In the UK alone, an estimated 700,000 shampoo caps go in the bin annually. When you consider the usage across Europe and the rest of the world, it’s clear to see what a blight these products are on our environment.

“Our biodegradable alternative, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, presents an opportunity for healthcare providers to prevent millions of tonnes of single-use plastic waste from polluting our planet. This launch is more than a milestone for Waterless; it’s a step towards realising our vision of a sustainable future in healthcare.

“We are committed to leading this change, providing quality products that are eco-friendly and cost-effective. The overwhelming interest from customers reinforces our belief that the market is ready to embrace more sustainable practices.”


Developed after a year of dedicated research, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is made from specially woven biodegradable bamboo viscose. It features a biodegradable heat-compatible formula encased in 100% recyclable packaging.


Victor Efford, Operations Director at Waterless, highlighted the challenges and triumphs in developing the shampoo wrap:

“Developing the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap was a journey marked by numerous challenges, particularly in creating a fully biodegradable, effective, and affordable product. We faced hurdles in material selection, preserving biodegradability, and ensuring product efficacy. Yet, our determination and commitment to sustainable innovation drove us forward.

“Overcoming these obstacles has been incredibly rewarding, and we’re excited about the potential for widespread adoption in hospitals, care homes, and domiciliary care. The Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is a testament to what is possible when innovation meets environmental consciousness.”


Waterless has been supported by the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), which provided crucial assistance in business strategy and branding.


“The support from the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been instrumental in our journey, helping us bring our vision to life,” said Jess Efford.

“As we proudly introduce the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap to the healthcare market, we’re doing more than just launching a new product; we’re championing a significant shift towards more sustainable healthcare practices.

“Our dedication to eco-friendly innovation is not just a part of our business model; it’s a call to action for the entire industry. We invite healthcare providers, partners, and customers to join us in this journey. Together, we can set a new standard in healthcare – one that prioritises the well-being of our planet and future generations.”


About Waterless:

Waterless specialises in creating eco-friendly hygiene products for the healthcare and personal care sectors. Based in Swansea, Wales, the company is dedicated to reducing environmental impact through innovative solutions like the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, the world’s first 100% biodegradable and recyclable shampoo cap.