Slow Progression For Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging

Organic Monitor Calls For More Innovation

Organic Monitor, a market research firm concerned largely with environmental impact, says that cosmetic companies are making progress toward reducing their overall packaging footprint.  But, it appears that there have been few real steps taken toward real packaging sustainability in the cosmetics industry.

There have, however, been some recent developments in ecodesign according to Organic Monitor.  Many brands in the cosmetics industry have begun to focus on reducing packaging materials with sustainable design.

The Few Innovations In Cosmetics Packaging

SOU, a brand of toiletries and skin-care products from Natura Brasil, stands out as a current leader in sustainable packaging design.  SOU products use lightweight, flexible plastic packaging that contain an amazing 70% less plastic than ridged containers designed for the same volume.

This trend is leading only to an incremental decrease in overall packaging materials.  However, it is still a great step in the right direction, as packaging accounts for over 50% of total household waste according to the OECD.

Another impressive development is the new “compressed can” that Unilever introduced for several of their deodorant products earlier in the year.  The can is nearly a third the size of Unilever’s old deodorant can design, saving more than 30% in packaging material and also reduces transportation costs.

However, Organic Monitor also had this to say; “More radical solutions involving materials are necessary to make significant changes to the packaging impact of cosmetic products.”

Bio-Plastics & Experimental Materials

It seems, according to Organic Monitor, that the cosmetics industry at large has yet to take enough steps toward developing environmentally friendly packaging materials.  And while some brands have begun experimenting with sustainable, natural packaging like wood and bamboo, plastic is still the forerunner in the cosmetics packaging market. 

There are a few companies like Procter & Gamble that have begun to use hybrid polymers made from sugar cane in an effort to make use of highly biodegradable bio-plastic while battling the limitations it has when concerned with the cosmetics industry.

But, there are still many cosmetics companies that have yet to employ green packaging solutions.  “A closed loop system whereby waste is used as raw materials is considered the way forward for many cosmetics brands taking the green road,” says Organic Monitor.

Spotlight On The Need For Further Sustainability

Organic Monitor placed sustainable packaging at the heart of the agenda in the upcoming European and Latin American Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.  Discussions of the summit are slated to include: 

  • The Environmental Impact of Packaging
  • Ecodesign Innovation
  • Novel Packaging Material
  • Cosmetic Bio-Plastics
  • Green Packaging Success Stories  

The summit will also feature papers from Natura Brasil, Unilever, Selerant, Procter & Gamble, Arkema, ABIHPEC, Aptar, and many others.