We are living in an era where we are destroying the very nature that flourished us until now. We have filled everything from our landfills to our sea with discharges and whatnot. According to a research conducted in 2017, there are 4 billion units of discharges in our oceans. And the cosmetic manufacturers have played a devastating role in it. Sustainable cosmetic packaging is our only way out of the environmental crisis we are facing.
In 2018, 24% of all cosmetic products came equipped with sustainable cosmetic packaging. This is commendable progress but we still have a long way to go. Eco friendly cosmetic manufacturers are highly valued in the beauty industry. These manufacturers are trying their best to roll out a type of packaging that is as convenient as plastic.
Unfortunately, we haven’t succeeded in finding an alternative that is as widely accepted as plastic. But we have synthesized many types of eco friendly skincare packaging that have the potential to replace plastic one day. If we keep moving forward, we will soon be able to eliminate plastic completely from the cosmetics industry.
We will have to understand that eco friendly skincare packaging is the future. Governments and consumers are both joining hands in order to halt the use of plastic and other deadly forms of packaging. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that all plastic is bad. You can be using plastic and still your packaging will be sustainable and eco-friendly. We have explained later on how exactly you can do that.
In this article, we have pointed and explained some of the promising innovations. These are some examples of eco friendly skincare packaging that have the potential to take over plastic packaging.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE COSMETIC PACKAGING?
Sustainable cosmetic packaging is the form of packaging that doesn’t take part in the degradation of the environment in any capacity. It is obtained organically. It doesn’t have an excessive carbon footprint.
The biggest factor that determines the extent of the sustainability of any material is its decomposition period. If we consider plastic for an instance, it can take up to 500 years to completely deteriorate. Even after it is disintegrated, it leaves behind residual toxins which are venomous for the environment.
Sustainable cosmetic packaging may be a tricky business but it packs many financial benefits too. You know the biggest consumers of cosmetic products are millennials. 70% of millennials buy a product based on its ecologic vulnerability. This is too high of a market cap for you to overlook.
But on the other hand, Sustainable materials like paperboard can completely decompose in as little as 3 months. They don’t end up filling the landfills and also don’t produce toxins of any kind. Paperboard is just one example eco friendly skincare packaging. There are several others that we have explained in detail below.
EXPLAINING ZERO WASTE PACKAGING:
Zero waste packaging is another approach used by eco friendly cosmetic packaging manufacturers. It is based on 3 simple processes.
The product is utilized to such an extent that there is nothing left of it. There are cosmetics brands that have rolled out packaging that include seeds in them. In most cases, when such packagings reach the environment, they grow into some type of plant. Instead of creating environmental pollution, they become beneficial for the environment.
Another approach to zero waste packaging is to reuse the packaging. Some baby product manufacturers have packaging that can be reused as a toy. You will have to be a little creative if you are opting for this practice. The packaging type will vary from industry to industry and you will have to design everything from scratch. Refilling also falls under this category.
But the most widely used practice is recycling. In this way, the product will remain in a circle and won’t reach the landfill.
Zero waste packaging is the most efficient form of sustainable cosmetic packaging. It leaves almost zero carbon footprint. The only downside to this amazing operation is educating the consumers to return the packaging to the manufacturers.
EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABLE COSMETIC PACKAGING:
As we promised, we are going to explain different types of sustainable cosmetic packaging that your brand can adopt. They are completely pollution-free and don’t foil the environment in any capacity. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Bamboo packaging is slowly becoming more and more common. It already has been adopted by many prestigious brands. Bamboo is more expensive than any other type of sustainable cosmetic packaging.
But it makes up for it by its lavish and lustrous feel. Its texture is shiny and is more durable. Longevity and protection are also guaranteed due to its sturdy built. However, you will have to compromise on its high weight.
Most work done on bamboo packaging is by hand so there is even less carbon footprint. You can also have anything you like carved on it. Your customization will feel like a work of art.
Bamboo provides completely eco friendly skincare packaging as it has completely organic origins. Bamboo takes up to 2-4 years to regrow which is perfect. Most people think that bamboo packaging cause deforestation. Nothing can be more further from the truth.
Bamboo is harvested just like wheat and rice and there are special bamboo farms(mostly in China). So there is no need for you to feel guilty and confidently opt for it. That is if you have the resources as bamboo packaging is one of the most expensive sustainable cosmetic packaging out there.
Silicone is a less dangerous option for cosmetic packaging. While it is not completely sustainable cosmetic packaging, it is still better than plastic. It takes almost 80 years to completely decompose itself but it doesn’t leave any toxins behind.
If you have some recycling operation in place then you don’t need to worry. Silicone is a product of Silica which is just a fancy word for sand. It doesn’t cost as high as bamboo packaging and promises good heat resistivity. It also has a sturdy built and can easily survive impacts.
We will recommend opting for silicone as a material for your sustainable cosmetic packaging if you can take care of its recycling.
Glass bottle packaging can also be an effective means of obtaining sustainable cosmetic packaging. Only Europe is producing about 20 million tonnes of glass packaging every year.
If your product is extra vulnerable to atmospheric factors, glass will be the best option for you. It is completely inert and impenetrable in nature. It will be an effective barrier allowing nothing to enter or leave.
91% of Europeans consider glass as the best sustainable cosmetic packaging. Most of the perfumes and make up products are already using glass containers.
As this wasn’t enough, it is completely recyclable. You can recycle it over and over again and still it won’t lose its effectiveness. Glass packaging also gives lavish vibes while still remaining in budgets. If you somehow manage to recycle it, its price will drag down to almost free.
Other than this, it drastically increases the ambiance of the product. Glass packaging is not that expensive. But if you are smart about it, you can give it an exclusive and refined look. Glass packaging is so much loved by eco friendly cosmetic packaging manufacturers because of the luxurious touch that it brings to the game.
The only real downside is that it is vulnerable to impacts. You will have to bubble wrap it and take extra precautions.
Most of the cosmetic brands use squeezy little tubes for stuff like Gels and lotions. If you use any other material except plastic, it can become expensive rendering the tube impractical. Eco friendly cosmetic packaging manufacturers have also found a genius solution for it.
Sugarcane tube is 90% plant-based or sugarcane-based to be precise. They leave 50% less carbon footprint as compared to the plastic tubes. Sugarcane tube is also decomposed by our environment in no time.
They cost just a little extra and provide the same level of customization, resistivity and durability as PE tubes. Sugarcane tube is still not normalized in the market and can be an effective way for you to build reputation of your brand.
I know you weren’t expecting plastic to be on the list. But there is a way to get a sustainable cosmetic packaging while using Plastic. And that way is recycling. Recycled plastic is commonly known as PCR or Post-Consumer Resin.
PCR is not just Plastic. It also has Aluminum, Paper and some other materials. PCR is an effective solution to our plastic packaging. As you see, there are about 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic produced by now. 6.3 billion of which has ended up in the landfills or sea.
Plastic has become deeply rooted in our packaging industry. There is no way we can avoid plastic pollution in few years or even decades. PCR packaging is our only shot in making plastic a source of sustainable cosmetic packaging.
By now, you will be familiar with zero-waste packaging. Plastic can be an excellent example of that. Recycled plastic is even less harmful than Sugarcane tube. It leaves almost no carbon footprint. Plastic is completely recyclable and doesn’t lose its qualities.
But you will have to take the responsibility to ensure that your plastic packaging won’t end up in a landfill.
Last but not least, paperboard packaging is the most convenient, affordable and eco friendly skincare packaging. It has one of the lowest decomposition periods. In just 3 months, paperboard will vanish from the face of the earth. Like sugarcane tube, it also doesn’t leave any toxins or harmful chemicals behind.
Thanks to its low weight, it is extremely portable. Most of the cosmetics boxes are usually made up of paperboard or cardboard. It also provides a lot of freedom to customize your packaging. Paperboard is usually manufactured with cellulose which is an organic product.
Paperboard can be an excellent sustainable cosmetic packaging but it just lacks durability.
Aluminum packaging takes almost a century before decomposing. However, it doesn’t leave behind any kind of residual toxins or polluting agents like Plastic.
But the main reason why Aluminum can be an excellent source of sustainable cosmetic packaging is its recycling capabilities. Plastic can also be recycled but what distinguishes Aluminum is its ease of recycling. Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely. This means Aluminum won’t lose its effectiveness even if it is recycled 1000 times.
Aluminum also 100% recyclable. This means that every inch of Aluminum can be reforged. Unlike Plastic which only has few resins that are capable of recycling. This is why Aluminum is attracting more and more eco friendly skincare packaging manufacturers. According to research, Recycling of Aluminum saves almost 90% of energy.
This also doesn’t mean that you will be compromising on the quality of the packaging. Aluminum is even more durable than plastic. It also can easily be customized and has excellent resistive properties towards atmospheric properties. According to a study, 75% of the Aluminum ever produced is in use. Aluminum is the new plastic.
When it comes to cosmetic packaging, we tend to think that plastic is our only option. But it isn’t true. Science has advanced enough to create many sustainable cosmetic packaging alternatives. From sugarcane tube to silicon packaging, you can opt any for any of the given material. We hope that our article has helped you in deciding what type of sustainable cosmetic packaging will work best for you.
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