Pressure mounts for green packaging

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Products, Cosmetics, L'oréal

With awareness of environmental issues mounting, consumers are on
the look out for products that have a minimal impact on the
environment, something that is putting packaging under the
microscope.

Together with the search for products that contain ethically sourced, natural or organic ingedient, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of what these products are contained in and the type of materials they use. The problem with cosmetics packaging is that most of it is plastic, and currently there are not all plastics used for personal care products are either biodegradeable or recycleable. One packaging manufacturing that has proved to be ahead of the game is Anglo-Dutch company RPC, which last year launched a biodegradeable lipstick and compact packaging made out of PHA, a polymer made out of organic sugars and oils. The company says it has plans to broaden the range for a whole spectrum of color cosmetics products, and is expecting rising demand as more and more people clue into the trend for recycleable packaging. Launched to court the growing trend for organic and natural cosmetics, the packaging was said to be the first of its kind when the launch was made, but if the current momentum of the green movement continues, this sort of packaging could become an industry standard. Pressure for consumers to make these type of changes is coming from all corners, especially the media. One example of this is marketing campaign by the Arizona-based nakeupuniversity.com - a popular online portal that shares tips and online tutorials relating to beauty, highlighting ways to ensure greater environmental responsibility for beauty consumer. The campaign, which was launched this week, stresses that consumers should be looking for beauty products with recyclable products, while also looking for companies, such as the Body Shop, that do refills. However, it is not only consumers that are putting pressure on beauty companies to ensure that they have a greener approach to the products they produce. Government authorities are also putting the pressure on manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint, both in their manufacturing processes and the types of products they produce. Indeed, with the US government now under increasing pressure to comply with global aims to reduce industry emissions, many experts believe that US industries will have to play 'catch-up' in the coming years, as tighter restrictions are introduced. But ultimately, it is widely believed that the personal care industry can use the 'green card' to its own advantage. This is because packaging is an integral part of the 'green' equation, providing the all-important front for products and conveying what they are about. This leads many experts to believe that the time will soon come when consumers will soon be passing on beauty products with non-recyclable or biodegradeable packaging in favor of a growing number of eco-friendlier alternatives.

Related topics: Packaging

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