bamboo Cosmetic packaging

Environmental Protection Concept

As consumers are growing their expectations in terms of sustainability, it is increasingly difficult for brands in the cosmetic packaging industry to know how to address this issue where packaging is concerned. Should you move to a full aluminium range, or promote zero waste, use 100% PCR materials, explore new innovative materials like perfume glass bottles and skincare packaging? There is no simple way to the sustainability transformation. However, some key principles are to be kept in mind: Exploration is paramount. Do not rush it. Understanding what’s at stake, taking a 360 view is key to avoiding shortcuts and misconceptions when it comes to cosmetic containers.

To help brands in their way to sustainability and clarify what is achievable in 2022, Eva Lagarde, founder of the consulting and training company re/sources, has identified five key trends, in terms of sustainable packaging in 2022. These trends encompass not only cosmetic bottles but also makeup packaging and more.

New Sustainable Materials for Cosmetic Cream Jars and Makeup Packaging

Whether they are co-products from the agricultural or food industries (seafood, mushrooms, coconuts, bamboo, sugar cane…), forestry (wood, bark, etc.) or ceramic waste, a lot of new materials are invading our cosmetic packaging realm. These materials are attractive for the innovative notion they confer and the story worthiness they offer for cosmetic packaging. There is a lot to say to the consumers about new packaging compounds. Firstly, you are moving away from petroleum, microplastics, ocean waste, and all the rest of it, and secondly, the technological, as well as natural aspect, is a captivating storyline. As an example, TheShellworks is currently developing new packaging from a bacteria digested polymer that is certified fully biodegradable. It will degrade in an industrial composter in about 5 weeks. The company currently offers a palette of 10 colours from off-white to dark mandarin orange or navy blue or black. Another good example is with Chanel using the moulded pulp made from bamboo and bagasse (sugarcane waste) fibres by Knoll Packaging, and now the caps made with the bio-compound from Sulapac (90% bio-based materials, 10% of which are products derived from camellias), for the new Chanel n°1 range. An interesting move, indeed, from a major luxury player that would probably encourage more brands to embrace these new materials. It’s worth noting that these new materials could be limited in shapes, colour finishes or decoration capabilities. These materials are also under a new stream of recycling, often through industrial composting (although they will eventually fully degrade in nature), they can damage the current plastic recycling stream if they end up in there. So a clear communication and educational message to consumers are really important to ensure an optimum end of life for cosmetic packaging.

The Refill Revolution in Cosmetic Tubes and Cute Makeup Packaging

There are three ways to implement a refill model for cosmetic product packaging. Either through dual inventory in-store, with a host packaging and a refill cartridge or else. Many brands have developed this idea including Tata Harper, Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, L’Occitane, to name a few for skincare bottles. The second model is based on an in-store refill device and a host of empty cosmetic containers to be filled. The model works well for rinse-off products since there is less risk of formula contamination. Some brands have already entered the game like The Body Shop (at a worldwide sale), Re (UK), Algramo (Chile), The Refillery (Philippines), Mustela (France). For leave-on skincare products, the French brand Cozie has developed a device that keeps the formula under airtight condition during filling and prints batch numbers for regulatory compliance. The brand has also developed the system for other brands and is working on an overall logistic chain for the collection, cleaning, and return of packaging in the loop system for skincare packaging. The third way is to offer a subscription opportunity to consumers, where they receive a refill regularly. Brands with this model include 900.care, What Matters, Izzy, Wild. Within this trend, a lot of brands are now offering extemporaneous formulas, where the consumer would only buy a lot of tablets and re-hydrate the formulas at home with water. The refill revolution is underway, and with the introduction of new regulations banning single-use plastics, chances are that we’ll see a lot of new initiatives in the near future. Consumers might take time to pick up this new habit and retailers need to adapt as well considering the space, cost, and logistical challenges. The supply chain will also need to reorganize its processes to provide stores with “bulk” formulas in a seamless fashion. Until standard systems are set, it might remain a complex alternative for cosmetic tube packaging.

End of Life Management for Skincare Packaging and Empty Cosmetic Containers

Today, only a very small percentage of beauty items get recycled. You know the drill. They are either “too small” or “too complex” (multiple layers of different materials, material mix, etc.) to get recycled. But now, with regulations banning some packaging items, pushing some material streams, or pushing the percentage of PCR content, a new balance needs to be found for a better recyclability of beauty products packaging. To capture and manage the beauty empties, beauty brands work together with specialized organizations. In the U.S., for instance, Credo Beauty cooperates with Pact Collective, and L’Occitane and Garnier with TerraCycle. Also in the U.S., a coalition of brands is now working on small format analysis to optimize recycling for skincare packaging. However, it won’t be enough. To ensure a smooth end of life, smart solutions can be applied to packaging for usage and recycling instructions. With the new regulations coming into force, it will be hard to print everything on the pack, so packaging will need to become smarter with QR codes or NFC chips for cosmetics jars wholesale. Another avenue to manage waste is to design it out, by removing all non-essential packaging, moving to mono-material items matching with currently available recycling streams, and avoiding all materials where the end of life is not widely controlled on the market. A lot of packaging manufacturers are offering these innovative solutions. But what do you do when an organized recycling scheme is not available in the region in which you want to sell? Brands will keep evolving on that front and even work with suppliers to implement safe solutions for cosmetics jars wholesale.

Paperization and Woodification for Luxury Cosmetic Packaging and Glass Cosmetic Containers

Paper (or cardboard) – made from wood – is a really attractive solution from a sustainability standpoint since it is easily identifiable as a green option. There is direct understanding from consumers and recycling or compostability is available worldwide. Pulpex, Paboco, Ecologic solutions which dramatically reduce the use of plastic are interesting solutions for bottled products like perfume glass bottles. As far as skincare jars are concerned, there are many technical questions. We can make a jar from a wood resin as shown by Sulapac, or the latest innovation – dubbed “conic” – from Holmen Iggesund. However, paper is not waterproof, yet, and promoting it as such could be misleading for luxury cosmetic packaging. Also, virgin paper is not necessarily less carbon-intensive than recycled paper when you take the entire lifecycle into account. Like any material, all impacts must be measured for proof. A paper that would be covered by more than 70% of metalized decoration might

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