Focus on using less packaging and recycled materials expected in 2011

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Recycling, Sustainability

A focus on reducing packaging by eco-design and light weighting and using recycled materials is expected from cosmetics and personal care companies in 2011, according to Organic Monitor.

“Raw material (oil and plant materials) prices are rising and these packaging initiatives enable beauty companies to cut costs as well as become more sustainable,”​ director of Organic Monitor Amarjit Sahota told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

Although there is growing interest in bioplastics, said Sahota, at present, the technical performance of bioplastics packaging restricts applications, with Organic Monitor noting that water permeability and high heat sensitivity mean such packaging is unsuitable for products such as shampoos, lotions and creams.

“However, we expect to see major improvements in bioplastics packaging in the coming years,”​ said Sahota.

Companies slow on sustainable packaging uptake

Sahota explains that cosmetics and personal care companies have traditionally been slow to embrace sustainable packaging, as many are preoccupied with other sustainability aspects such as ethical sourcing of raw materials, green formulations and waste and resource management.

“A contributing factor is that sustainable packaging is not easy for a company to adopt,”​ he said, adding that changes in packaging can affect product performance, quality and safety.

With sustainability rising on the corporate agenda, Organic Monitor expects to see more companies roll out sustainable packaging initiatives in 2011, following in the footsteps of brands such as Aveda and Burt’s Bees.

Aveda is frontrunner in adopting sustainable packaging

Aveda has been identified by Organic Monitor as a leader among cosmetics and personal care companies in the area of sustainable packaging, with its products now containing at least 80 per cent recycled materials.

Saving over 1 million pounds of virgin plastic each year, the company is said to be the largest user of PCR plastic in the beauty industry.

Neal’s Yard Remedies uses Post Consumer Regrind (PCR) PET bottles and Burt’s Bees has replaced its soap packaging with tree-free TerraSkin, allowing it to move away from its previous double layer packaging and reduce the amount of packaging used by 50 per cent. By 2020, the US-based company plans to use 100 per cent recycled or biodegradable materials.

Related topics: Packaging & Design, Packaging

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