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What Are the Current Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging Trends?

Did you know that 96% of American consumers claim they try to live a sustainable lifestyle? They do this to protect the planet, its people, and non-renewable resources.

Many consumers are trying their best to do their part. They're living an eco-friendly lifestyle. But it's dictated to some degree by their budget and preferences.

There's one way folks can quickly go green. They can choose skincare products that use sustainable cosmetic packaging.

Today's makeup, hair, and beauty businesses are embracing creative techniques. They're making packaging eco-friendly and attractive to consumers.

Keep reading to find out what some of these are.

Using Wood or Paper for Cosmetic Packaging

Many sustainable cosmetics companies have started looking into alternative materials. They want to package their skin care products in a greener fashion. Today, exciting options are available to organizations looking for sustainable and affordable packaging.

Most consumers have already noticed the increasing use of paper and cardboard. It's used to create sustainable cosmetic packaging.

Paper is easier to recycle. Unlike plastic, it doesn't sit around in landfills for thousands of years without decomposing.

The only problem with paper is that it's typically not waterproof. Manufacturers coat it with another material to make it waterproof. Most often, they use a plastic coating on the inside and outside.

You can't recycle paper packaging lined with more than 70% plastic or metal.

Another innovation is the use of wood to create attractive cosmetic packaging. This kind of packaging is sustainable but looks natural, rustic, and inviting.

Wood is primarily used as a cap with no (or easily removable) inserts. This allows for better end-of-life management. 

Some cosmetic manufacturers—like deodorant brand Nuud—have started using another exciting material. That material is sugarcane bioplastic. Manufacturers make it from the waste and fibers from sugarcane farming.

Brand like Hebe Botanica even made a step further with some of their packaging to be biodegradable or coming from readily available and recyclable sources. Their paper packaging of the body scrub is made of sugarcane fiber and can be degraded in natural environment and temperature. 

biodegradable packaging

Many cosmetic companies use glass. This is in place of plastic bottles and jars.

Remember, though; you shouldn't decorate these materials—wood, paper, or glass—elaborately. This would reduce their sustainability factor. Simple and minimalistic is always better sustainability-wise.

Airless Packaging Technology: A New Frontier

Airless packaging uses high-tech systems to help create stylish, sustainable packaging for modern consumers. Organizations use this tech to create ergonomically designed pumps. These help conveniently dispense skincare products and cosmetics.

These pumps also help protect the potency of the active ingredients and the formulations of natural ingredients. And they use less plastic in their formulations, with reduced lead time.

That's the advantage of using airless packaging. Not only are they good for the product itself, but they are also good for the company's bottom line.

This kind of sustainable packaging will become more popular in the future. There's no reason why we can't have eco-friendly packaging that's also cheap and easy to produce.

Giving Consumers Refill Options

Millions of cosmetic packages end up in landfills, sitting there for eons before decomposing. Some packages get recycled, to be sure, but most of them don't.

That's why another great option that organizations can offer to consumers is the option to refill their containers.

For example, organizations can set up retail centers where consumers can bring their packaging. There, they get it refilled with the product of their choice. They could also purchase sustainable packaging from the store to fill up with their desired product.

Some cosmetics manufacturers are also playing with other innovative ideas. For example, they're offering refill cartridges to consumers.

This way, no additional packaging gets used. Instead, the consumer purchases a refill cartridge and empties it into the packaging they already have at home.

Lots of zero-waste stores have opened up throughout the United States. But mainly, they sell nuts, seeds, grains, flour, and sometimes household cleaning products in bulk.

However, it would be easy to translate this idea into packaging for sustainable beauty products.

Stores could offer incentives for consumers who opt for the refill option. This could be 20% more of a product or a discount on the retail price. Then, they'd be more likely to engage with this service in the future.

Organizations need to start thinking more creatively when it comes to going green. They must entice consumers to partner with them to create a sustainable future.

recyclable material

The main concern and priority here would be ensuring that the products remain airtight and uncontaminated. This way, the potency of their formulations isn't lost, and they don't become a health hazard.

Another technique that sustainable beauty products use is extemporaneous formulas. Consumers purchase tablets of the product on a subscription-based model. Then, they add water to the product at home to rehydrate it, after which they can use it like a standard cosmetic product.

End-Of-Life Management

Many retailers have started incorporating end-of-life management into their product creation process. For example, H&M allows consumers to donate their old used clothing, which they upcycle to create new sustainable clothing lines.

Sustainable cosmetics manufacturers could use the same idea. Unfortunately, there's a problem with the packaging of most cosmetics. Consumers can't do anything with it after they've finished using the product.

The outer packaging might be recyclable, but what about the heavy glass or thick plastic containers the product sits in? What is the consumer supposed to do with that?

Even if the packaging says it's recyclable, that doesn't mean you can recycle it. Recyclers have difficulty recycling complex or small packaging. So they reject it, and it's thrown into the landfill or incinerated with other trash.

Sustainable cosmetics manufacturers must embrace end-of-life management. They should insert it into their product creation and planning processes.

It's impossible to ignore this part of the product life cycle. Sustainability is set to become more critical for consumers.

There are two things cosmetics manufacturers can do right now. First, they can create packaging made from a recyclable mono-material. That way, there's no reason people can't recycle the packaging.

Second, manufacturers can set up deposit depots or mailing centers in their retail stores. Consumers can drop off their used packaging at these places.

Then, the packaging is reused after a power wash, or the organization recycles it. You could also transform it into another product of some kind.

The possibilities are endless. But it all begins with believing that end-of-life management is essential. 

Minimalist Packaging: Less Is More

There's another trend cosmetics manufacturers must consider. And they must do it every time they create a new product. Minimalism has, in general, become pretty popular almost everywhere.

Why not make packaging that's simple and minimalist? This is something that Hebe Botanica does exceptionally well. We make all our packaging from PET plastic, paper or glass, making recycling relatively easy. Also, containers can be reused by consumers to store something else.

Minimalism might not be the first thing cosmetics manufacturers think of when creating packaging, but it should be. Consumers nowadays aren't interested in fluff and glam. Instead, they're more interested in purchasing high-quality, sustainable products that work well. For example, the Coconut Soy Candle comes in a coconut shell which can be easily be trashed in a compost or reused as a garden planter.

Less is more—it's not just a tagline to boost sales. It needs to become the way of creating products and their packaging everywhere.

Using Recycled Materials

Sustainability initiatives are typically very innovative. Designers are always coming up with new ways to make packaging more eco-friendly. As we look at cosmetics packaging in the future, there are going to be many more sustainable initiatives popping up. 

Sustainable organizations use recyclable materials for good reason. Sustainable organizations use these materials for a reason. They want to convince consumers of the "greenness" of their products.

Organizations are already using sustainable packaging materials, like:

  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp

These resources might be biodegradable, but they're also finite.

That's why using recycled materials to create packaging is a fantastic eco-friendly option. These sustainable materials degrade completely if left to decompose in industrial composting. And they are also recyclable.

This means manufacturers can use them repeatedly for many years to create packaging and other materials.

Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging: The Way of the Future

Being green or sustainable isn't just a fad. It's not something consumers wish to participate in right now but will soon forget about.

Consider the state of the world today. Think about Americans' worries about the future their children and grandchildren will inherit. It's not hard to see that sustainable cosmetic packaging will become ubiquitous and essential.

Are you interested in purchasing sustainable beauty products in eco-friendly packaging? Check out our collection of holistic, plant-based, vegan skincare products.

Give your skin and the planet the glow it deserves today!


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