French Packaging Council urges "circular economy" for cosmetics


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Luxepack conference on sustainable packaging methods
Michael Fontaine, the president of the French Packaging Council, has urged companies to adopt a "circular economy" for packaging.

At a recent LuxePack Moncao conference, he and other experts discussed ways of reducing the environmental impact of plastic packaging.

Fontaine said that concentrating on the life-cycle end of a product for example, where it ends up after being used, was crucial to increasing the efficiency of recycling.

Whilst praising the general French attitude and efforts towards recycling, Fontaine also pointed out that there remained considerable room for improvement.

The president said: "It is the end of life which we have neglected quite a lot. A package which has a second life will certainly be more virtuous than one which has no life."

Continental recycling

According to Fontaine, around 2/3rds of French packaging materials are eventually recycled, putting the country high on the list of European contenders.

He stressed the need to move to none-petrochemical packaging, despite the fact that plastics only consume a small proportion of the world's oil resources.

Fontaine said: "To preserve the use of resources​, it's a good idea to avoid using products which are rare. We have the resources, but the question is will our children have the same kinds of resources?"

Sustainable packaging

Sustainability is a perennial hot-button issue in the industry and is considered a vital consideration for any company keen to make its mark in cosmetics.

However, a co-ordinated approach to developing a strategy has not yet been created within the industry.

At a recent conference during the Sustainable Cosmetics event in Paris, Amarjit Sahota, the president of Organic Monitor, suggested that the industry needed to work as a unit to develop new and more effective approaches to environmental friendliness.

Sahota said: "The challenge here is that we can do all these good practices to be sustainable and reduce our carbon and water footprints, but we need to communicate this effectively to the consumer."

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