Survey reveals low consumer awareness over cosmetics packaging recycling

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care, Recycling

According to the French environmental organisation, Eco-Emballages, the sorting of household packaging waste for recycling is far more common than sorting bathroom waste.

Whilst 84 per cent of French people claim to separate their discarded packaging from general household items, only 21 per cent can claim to correctly sort their cosmetics and personal packaging, statistics revealed.

Eco-Emballages carried out a survey in conjunction with market researcher IPSOS, surveying 1,013 French people about their recycling habits.

Lack of awareness over which products can be recycled

The results indicated a lack of consumer awareness about which products can be recycled, which is particularly pertinent at a time when cosmetics and personal care manufacturers are increasingly opting for recyclable product packaging.

Participants in the survey were tested on whether 17 products typically found in the bathroom could be recycled or not.

Only 21 per cent of respondents correctly sorted 13 or more products, with 29 per cent failing to correctly sort more than 8 products. Only 2 per cent managed to correctly sort all the packaging made from plastic.

For 48 per cent of respondents, difficulty in correctly sorting products was related to a lack of general information, with 38 per cent saying it was due to information deficiency on product packaging itself.

Eco-emballages and Garnier partnership

L’Oreal brand Garnier established a partnership with Eco-Emballges in 2009 which aims to make consumers aware of the importance of separating the packaging waste from their cosmetics and personal care products.

Garnier’s 250ml Fructus shampoo bottles, which carry the Eco-Emballages logo, indicate to the consumer that they can be recycled if packaging waste is separated.

The latest initiative to arise from the partnership is the creation of the first recycling bin designed specifically for use in the bathroom.

Consumer education

According to Eco-Emballages, the bin is designed to teach consumers which bathroom products can be recycled. Each bin consists of two compartments – for both recyclable and non-recyclable packaging.

To aid consumers to separate items correctly, the profile of products are displayed to indicate the correct destination for the packaging.

In addition, an interactive game on Garnier’s website allows people to test their recycling knowledge by requiring them to correctly place common cosmetics and personal care packaging in the correct bin, separating recyclable and non-recyclable items.

Throughout France, 15,000 of the bins will be distributed in areas where recycling needs to be improved and Garnier will also offer them to loyal customers via its website.

Related topics: Packaging & Design

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