According to Zero Waste, 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. Moreover, a study by National Geographic shows that plastic packaging is used 120 times more in cosmetics packaging than it was in 1960. The beauty industry is a major contributor, as most of its bottles and containers are designed to be single-use.
As the beauty industry faces growing consumer pressure to reduce its packaging impacts and to find options that reduce, reuse and recycle, sustainability is driving changes throughout the entire packaging process and is pushing the brands design their packaging with the circular economy in mind.
Ending Plastic Waste
Companies are exploring new alternatives to plastic as well as other recyclable, compostable materials. L’Oréal and Albéa have developed an innovative carton-based cosmetic tube, where plastic has been replaced with a bio-based, paper-like material. The Sulapac jar by Quadpack Group made of microplastic-free material is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Wildsmith Skin proposes their giftset in mycelium, a mushroom-based sustainable packaging.
Refillable Product Packaging Solutions
Brands are embracing refills and redesigning their product to make it a luxurious proposition. Myro has built a brand that specializes in a refillable product with a first-of-its-kind refillable deodorant. Combining luxury with sustainability, brands like Hermès and By Kilian are offering refillable products. Loop, founded by TerraCycle has partnered with brands to offer a refillable shopping experience by enabling packaging to be returned to brands and re-used.
The zero-waste food shopping trend has found its way into beauty. UK beauty retailer Lush is leading the way with its completely package free store called Lush Naked. Australian-based Flora & Fauna has created an interactive marketplace for zero-waste goods and services, the store includes the first bulk eco-refill station in the country. Brands, like Ethique selling bars of hair products and deodorants, offer package-free products in a bid to attract environmentally-conscious consumers.
From Carbon-Neutral to Climate Positive Beauty
The beauty industry has pushed toward sustainability and carbon neutrality actions but the future stage will see bolder actions like climate-positive beauty. Lush Cosmetics has received recognition as the first carbon-positive product for its Cork Pot that absorbs more than 33 times its weight in carbon dioxide. British period brand Dame has become the world’s first climate-positive period brand, meaning that they remove more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they emit.