Beauty's Plastic-Free Battle

Will the future of beauty packaging be green? Nowadays, more than ever, alternatives to plastic packaging take the beauty industry by storm. Numerous beauty brands and groups are exploring and offering alternative packaging solutions to plastic and recycled plastic. These solutions are often similar to plastic in terms of look and feel, and include cellulose-based packaging derived from natural sources such as sugar cane, corn, or wood chips.


According to official 2019 data published by Cosmoprof, the entire beauty sector is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 7.14% during the 2018-2023 period reaching up to USD 805.61 billion. The global organic beauty market is expected to grow up to roughly 10% each year until at least 2024 according to market analysis projections – which leaves a lot of possibilities for plastic-free packaging solutions to evolve.


In this context, LuxePack, a leading international trade show for creative packaging, revealed a unique ecological approach during its latest editions in Monaco earlier this fall, with independent packaging manufacturers using original production materials, such as oyster shells or harmful algal blooms. Italian manufacturer Favini used the latter to create an award-winning bio-packaging for the skincare brand Vagheggi BIO+.
 
This is a clear example of how it is possible to reuse, in a useful and creative way, a material whose abnormal proliferation is damaging the environment and difficult to dispose of: algae,” explained Eugenio Eger, CEO of Favini, in an official statement made by the company. This type of packaging de facto partially substitutes cellulose fibers and uses no varnishing, no glue, no additional leaflets or labels – making it not only an eco-friendly solution but also an entirely biodegradable one.
 
Further recent beauty industry announcements made by personal care and cosmetic moguls Unilever and L’Oréal emphasized the industry’s ongoing willingness to provide sustainable packaging solutions to their customers. In an official statement released by the conglomerate, Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope has committed to halving the amount of virgin plastic it uses by 2025. The group that owns reputed mass-market brands such as Vaseline, Dove, and Toni & Guy has also ambitiously stated that it would collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells by the year 2025, and further claimed to incorporate at least 25% recycled plastic in its packaging by that year.
 
We can only eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the plastic cycle,” Alan Jope wrote in an official statement. “This demands a fundamental rethink in our approach to our packaging and products. It requires us to introduce new and innovative packaging materials and scale up new business models, like reuse and re-fill formats, at an unprecedented speed and intensity.
 
L’Oréal, for its part, teamed up with beauty packaging manufacturer Albéa in October to introduce the cosmetic conglomerate’s first carton-based cosmetic tube, which is crafted from organic material similar to paper. According to an official statement released by the company, L’Oréal aims a first market launch of this new, eco-friendly skincare product packaging by the second half of 2020 by testing it on its French skincare brand La Roche-Posay.
 
L’Oréal is committed to improving the environmental or social profile of 100% of its packaging by the end of 2020,” stated the company’s packaging & development director Philippe Thuvien. “This innovative, alternative solution is an integral part of the Group’s packaging strategy,” he added.

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