Sustainable Cosmetics Summit focuses on the circular economy

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images
This year’s European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will focus on ways of closing up loops in the supply chain to ensure materials are recycled and non-recyclable plastics are eliminated.

Organiser Ecovia has once again chosen the Paris Marriott Champs-Elysees as the venue, and the event will be held 4 – 6th​ of November, which will also include the Sustainable Beauty Awards ceremony, on the first evening, together with a full two-day presentation programme.

Now entering its 11th​ year, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​ has been covering all the key issues that have been the focus for the natural and organic areas of the industry, but increasingly sustainability is becoming an industry-wide topic of conversation.

This year key points that will tie in with the circular economy topic will include presentations that will look at the design approach, sustainable packaging, re-using waste materials and a look at the increasingly fashionable minimalistic lifestyle and how that is impacting consumer demands.

Overhauling the approach to design

With many experts pointing out that it is poor product design that leads to issues such as plastics pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, one presentation by Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

His presentation will focus on how cosmetic and personal care companies can be designed so that material can be continuously recycled.

Dr. Braungart will expound on the cradle-to-cradle design approach, showing how companies can start creating positives impacts in their business cycles and reducing the negative impacts.

Package waste innovation

Images of plastic waste islands floating around the oceans have spurred many individuals into tackling the problem, which is caused by an estimated 7 million tonnes of plastic finding its way into seas every year.

Much of this pollution is caused by the cosmetics and personal care industry, an issue that the Lee Mann, global community trade manage at the Body Shop has been tackling with the world’s first ‘fairly traded’ recycled plastic.

During his presentation Mann will explain how he has worked to partner the Body Shop with Plastics For Change, to ensure that waste collectors in India pick up plastics that can then be used for hair care bottles.

Turning waste materials into ingredients

Using food byproducts or side streams is increasingly being recognized as a riche source for cosmetics ingredients, with a well known example being the use of coffee grounds for scrubs and active ingredients.

BASF will also be presenting as a part of the two-day programme, to explain how the company is product cosmetic ingredients from rambutan fruit side streams.

This interesting project ensures the upcycling of ingredients from rambutan trees that are grown using organic farming practices in Vietnam.

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