Consumers must show willingness to recycle beauty packaging, says Mintel expert


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Mintel says consumers are vital to beauty packaging recycling

Related tags Recycling

In the final part of’s interview series with packaging expert Dr Benjamin Punchard, he explains the economical and environmental factors affecting the personal care market right now.

Previously, Mintel’s Senior Global Packaging Analyst has discussed the importance of beauty packaging​ and how,in the luxury sector, sustainability is not a key concern​.

Here, he explains how recyclability is perceived in cosmetics packaging and how economic trends are seeing a shift in the certain pack types used.

Providing recycling information

Punchard told this publication that when looking at environmental trends there has been a move towards trying to engage consumers on a more human level, rather than just sticking a recyclable logo on a pack.

“We are now seeing brands provide more information on the labels and packaging as to where and how the material was sourced,”​ he said.

However, when it comes to recyclability, this is something that brands have no control over.

“The consumer has already picked up and purchased the product, and it is down to the consumer to recycle the packaging after use,”​ continued Punchard.

“Brands can use recyclable materials and label it accordingly but it is the responsibility of the consumer once the product has been purchased – it is out of their hands.”

This is an issue that affects the beauty and personal care segment more so than other consumer goods industries, such as food, and can only be overcome through more education for the consumer and willingness on their part to do their bit.

Size is important

Away from the environmental factors and focusing more on the topic of economy, Benjamin Punchard explains there are two routes that brands tend to go down.

This is by either offer things in bulk, or reducing the pack size to make things more affordable.

“In beauty people don’t really like buying in bulk; brands don’t generally offer things in bulk as it looks to be cheap and people don’t want to devalue their brand by doing that,”​ he says.

This has seen a shift towards brands offering smaller pack sizes or single-serve offerings, as well as the huge increase in popularity of the travel pack.

“This is not because we are travelling more; it is because it is a great way of buying a small affordable option that you can throw in your handbag, or take to work, or also try something that you have never tried before but at an affordable price point,”​ adds Punchard.

“We are seeing a growth in hair and skin care for smaller pack sizes in travel and also in single-serve, such as blister packs.”

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