Guess what’s the latest trend in the beauty industry? Here’s a clue – it is not microbiome skincare, make-believe make-up, smoky eyes or fluorescent creases. In fact, it has nothing to do with “beauty” at all. We are talking about the big leap cosmetic brands have taken to make their packaging sustainable and eco-friendly. As eco-conscious consumers expect to see green everywhere -from ingredients to process to packaging – manufacturers are coming up with innovative solutions.
Here are the top 5 eco-friendly packaging practices that are gaining momentum in the cosmetic industry.
Green Packaging: The Need of the Hour
Before we get there, why is green packaging the need of the hour? According to the data published by Zero Waste Week, the cosmetic industry is producing over 120 plus billion units of packaging every year and that, by no means, is a small number. Since plastic takes more than a thousand years to decompose, it’s important to reduce, if not fully eliminate, this massive landfill. Studies also indicate that about 62% of consumers prefer brands that use eco-friendly packaging and what’s more, they don’t mind paying a few bucks extra to steer clear of plastic.
1. Eco-friendly containers
As many personal care products are water-based and require leak-proof containers, cosmetic companies have long been relying on plastic. However, they are now slowly transitioning into sustainable alternatives that are either biodegradable or recyclable. Topping the lists are fully recyclable glass and metal containers closely followed by paper, silicon, and bamboo. Post-Consumer Resin aka PCR is also being used as a sustainable alternative to plastic containers.
2. Zero-waste packaging
The beauty industry is getting in on the mission to save the planet by doing away with excess packaging. Besides using biodegradable materials like paper, clothes, and plant-based wraps, they also say no to outer packaging wherever possible – no bubble wraps, no cellophane boxes, and no fancy wrappings. Some labels have gone a step further by introducing products wrapped with seed-embedded papers that customers can plant to grow vegetables. A product that continues being functional even after use – what more could one ask for?
3. Solid equivalents to liquid products
As part of getting their act together, quite a few brands are offering solid equivalents to liquid products in the form of bars. From shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste to face wash, moisturizer, facial scrub, and sunscreens, a wide range of cosmetic and personal care products now come as bars, which considerably reduce the use of plastic. And that’s indeed a solid solution to the plastic problem!
4. Naked packaging
You heard it right! Many cosmetic labels have taken that bold step to go “naked” and launch a line of 100% packaging-free products. Lush, an eco-friendly cosmetic brand based out of the UK is one of the pioneers of this trend. Today, many labels offer a surprisingly diverse range of naked products including bath bombs, shower gels, bubble bars, shampoo bars, massage bars, and bath oils.
5. Reusable bottles and refill stations
Some beauty brands have responded to the green movement by introducing products with refillable packaging. Once customers have used the product, they can either send or take the used container to a refill station and get it refilled, often at a reduced price. Renowned labels like L’Occitane, Bleach London, Le Labo, Ellis Faas, Hourglass, Alima Pure, and Kjaer Weis have all joined this bandwagon.
These innovative packaging trends convey a clear message – it’s true that beauty lies inside but when it comes to packaging, what lies outside does matter. An organic cosmetic product that comes in a single-use plastic bottle can hardly be called eco-friendly, can it?
If you are a beauty brand that makes eco-friendly beauty products, we have buyers in the Wabel Community that are ready to meet you at UP Beauty on June 15 – 16, 2020 in Paris. Contact us for more information.