7 Types of Eco Friendly Cosmetic Packaging to Consider
Numerous cosmetic, skincare, and hygiene products, ranging from deodorants to facial creams and lipsticks, are commonly packaged in plastic. If your brand aims to provide eco-friendly alternatives, here are 7 types of them worth considering:
1. Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Packaging
Post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging has emerged as one of the leading choices for environmentally friendly packaging solutions. The rapid growth in its popularity is evident, with industry projections indicating an expected increase from $14.2 billion in 2020 to $18.8 billion by 2025.
PCR packaging is crafted from materials that have already been used and recycled, including items like cardboard boxes, paper, plastic bottles, aluminum, and various everyday materials. When these recyclables reach a recycling facility, they undergo a meticulous process of separation by material type and are then compacted into bales. These bales are subsequently purchased and transformed into new products, including packaging materials. This approach offers a broad spectrum of possibilities in terms of the shape and size of packaging it can produce, making it an ideal choice for cosmetic businesses committed to a 100% recycled materials initiative.
Now, let’s explore how PCR packaging differentiates itself from compostable or recyclable cosmetic packaging.
PCR packaging stands out because it comes into existence after raw materials have been processed through recycling facilities, granting these materials a new lease on life. In contrast, recyclable and compostable packaging often concludes its lifecycle when the customer disposes of it.
Furthermore, recyclable and compostable packaging solutions place a greater reliance on the customer’s disposal process, as certain conditions can affect the material’s biodegradability.
PCR packaging holds a distinct advantage over recyclable and compostable alternatives for cosmetic containers and packaging due to its myriad benefits, which extend to both businesses and customers. It stands out as one of the most accessible eco-friendly packaging options for cosmetics due to its flexibility, capacity for protection, strong barrier performance, durability, and suitability as an alternative to plastic film. Additionally, it contributes to reducing the carbon footprint.
Moreover, PCR enables cosmetic companies to maintain and demonstrate their commitment to eco-friendly practices through sustainable beauty packaging. This aspect holds particular significance as consumers become increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of materials like plastic. PCR packaging offers an effective means of engaging with audiences on sustainability and environmental concerns while upholding the quality of product packaging.
2. Bamboo Packaging
Bamboo is emerging as a noteworthy eco-friendly packaging trend for beauty and cosmetic businesses, particularly excelling in disposable packaging, such as lip balm or lipstick cases. It stands out as one of the most promising choices for plant-based cosmetic packaging due to its utilization of entirely renewable resources.
What sets bamboo apart is its cultivation process, which doesn’t involve the use of insecticides or pesticides. Moreover, there is a wide variety of bamboo species available, offering numerous options to suit different cosmetic needs.
From a practical standpoint, bamboo packaging is lightweight and adds an extra layer of durability to cosmetic containers. It serves as an excellent biodegradable alternative to plastics and paper, making it particularly well-suited for external jars when paired with inner coatings made from materials like acrylic or glass.
Furthermore, bamboo cosmetic jars can be customized and branded using various techniques such as screen printing, hot stamping, engraving, and more. This versatility allows cosmetic companies to maintain their unique branding while embracing eco-friendly packaging solutions.
3. Paper Packaging
Paper has a rich history as an eco-friendly packaging material, and the cosmetics industry is no exception to its versatility. When it comes to sustainable packaging, there are numerous ways to harness the potential of paper as a substitute for plastic.
Consider makeup and lipstick packaging, which often incorporate plastic fillers like bubble wrap for protection. A sustainable and eco-friendly alternative is to replace these plastic fillers with paper-based options made from cardboard or recycled paper. This simple switch can significantly contribute to achieving more sustainable beauty packaging for your business.
One of the standout advantages of paper is that it is both renewable and biodegradable. This means that it not only reduces the environmental impact associated with single-use plastics but also offers a more eco-conscious and responsible choice for protecting cosmetic products.
4. Refillable Packaging
The cosmetics industry faces a significant challenge in addressing the excessive use of plastic in traditional lotion and skincare packaging. While durable and waterproof alternatives are limited, cosmetic companies are actively seeking solutions to reduce the environmental impact of plastic, particularly in products like lotion bottles and cosmetic jars.
One effective approach is to encourage customers to reuse these containers by offering refill services. Refillable cosmetic packaging not only aids companies in reducing their plastic footprint but also provides an excellent opportunity to engage with customers and enhance the product’s overall value. It promotes the concept of circularity, where the same container is used repeatedly.
Furthermore, companies can incentivize customers to choose the refill service by offering special discounts, fostering extended use of their cosmetic containers. While plastic is not inherently eco-friendly, the practice of continued reuse presents a practical compromise for achieving sustainability in cosmetic packaging. This not only benefits the environment but also strengthens the bond between brands and environmentally-conscious consumers.
5. Cornstarch Packaging
Cornstarch presents an excellent eco-friendly alternative to plastic for cosmetic companies in search of more organic and sustainable packaging options, particularly for lotion bottles. Derived from polylactic acid (PLA), which is sourced from renewable materials like cornstarch or sugarcane, this material aligns with the principles of eco-consciousness.
While there are concerns regarding the supply chain challenges associated with wider adoption, there are practical ways to incorporate cornstarch-based packaging into overall operations.
Cornstarch stands out as a viable replacement for plastic, offering a multitude of possibilities for sustainable cosmetic packaging. It possesses the dual advantage of being biodegradable and recyclable, making it an ideal choice for packaging items like lotion bottles and skincare cream jars. Additionally, it is non-toxic and has a minimal emissions footprint, making it an appealing option for cosmetic companies committed to reducing their environmental impact. As a result, an increasing number of cosmetic businesses are exploring the potential of cornstarch as a suitable and eco-conscious alternative.
6. Seaweed Packaging
At first glance, seaweed may not appear to be a conventional choice for sustainable beauty packaging, but it holds remarkable potential. Seaweed-based packaging possesses unique qualities that make it a promising option in the realm of biodegradable cosmetic packaging.
One standout feature is its edibility and dissolvability, rendering it suitable for use in biodegradable cosmetic packaging solutions. While seaweed is primarily associated with the food industry, its advantages extend to the cosmetics sector.
Seaweed emerges as an excellent eco-friendly alternative for skincare packaging, particularly for products like face masks, gels, lotions, and various liquid-based cosmetics. Moreover, it can function as a sustainable substitute for plastic, given its abundance and minimal environmental impact.
While this innovation is still in the prototyping phase, the underlying concept involves freezing, thawing, and air-drying seaweed to transform it into packaging material. The end result is a transparent film, cushioning, or packaging that can be further reinforced with other natural materials, such as algae or fiber, to enhance its protective capabilities. This innovative approach showcases the potential of seaweed in revolutionizing eco-friendly cosmetic packaging.
7. Beeswax Packaging
Beeswax stands out as another compelling and eco-friendly material for cosmetic packaging. Its versatility in molding and manipulation makes it an excellent choice for providing protective layers around products or serving as protective covers.
Beeswax packaging is typically crafted from a blend of beeswax, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, often combined with a fabric like cotton for added durability. Similar to the previously mentioned packaging alternatives, beeswax offers a sustainable alternative to plastic while also opening up opportunities for unique branding.
What sets beeswax packaging apart is its versatility in terms of colors and patterns, allowing for diverse customization options. Additionally, it presents a cost-effective choice compared to some of the other eco-friendly packaging alternatives mentioned earlier. Beeswax offers specific benefits for cosmetics due to its inherent properties, including antibacterial elements that offer robust protection. It also exhibits durability, effectively safeguarding cosmetic items from potential damage. This combination of attributes makes beeswax an attractive and eco-conscious choice for cosmetic packaging.