The beauty and skincare industries produce more than 120 billion units of packaging across the globe annually, which culminates in a total loss of 18 million acres of forest per year.
In reaction to shocking statistics like this one, consumers are on the lookout for skincare products that accomplish two things:
- That work the way they expect them to
- That protect the environment
Just look at the words of one editor at the popular beauty magazine, Allure:
“Twenty years ago, as a wee beauty editor, I would thrill at the crinkle of cellophane as I opened a new face cream, and the excitement would mount as I pulled back layers of cardboard. Oh, and look — a tiny spoon. Today, those trappings feel superfluous. And worse: irresponsible. I can no longer look at a plastic tub without imagining it bobbing on the high seas. Enough already with all the packaging.”
This consumer push for eco-friendly skincare packaging is gaining momentum, and even major skincare brands and online retailers are starting to take notice. For example?
- The L’Oréal Group says it will source up to 50 percent of its packaging from recycled materials by 2025.
- Proctor & Gamble is putting Pantene products in refillable containers.
- Dove has created a refillable deodorant.
- Burt’s Bees has implemented a mail-back recycling program for customers.
Anymore, sustainable skincare packaging isn’t just the responsible thing to do to protect the planet for future generations—it’s also a necessity for online brands that want to stay competitive.
Eco-Packaging for Skincare
Skincare products are a special sect of the beauty market. Unlike a brand selling lipsticks or eyeshadow palettes that may be fun to try once, consumers who invest in skincare products are looking for a long-term solution; something that will become part of their life, enhancing their skin while also staying true to their values.
As such, skincare brands especially need to think about making eco-friendly packaging part of their brand story—because consumers want it. In one survey of female internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 in eight key markets, 43 percent shared they would pay more if the packaging for a beauty product was environmentally friendly, and 67 percent said that the packaging for these beauty products should be environmentally friendly.
The official definition for sustainable packaging, as detailed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, is that it:
- “Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle
- Meets market criteria for performance and cost
- Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy
- Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials
- Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices
- Is made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle
- Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy
- Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed-loop cycles”
One sustainable concept that is getting attention from consumers is zero-waste packaging. Zero waste refers to engineering and managing products and processes to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste. The practice aims to conserve and recover resources instead of burning or burying them. The overarching goal of zero-waste products is to eliminate pollution discharges in the land, water, and air that threaten our environment.
Since many packaging items in the beauty industry like caps and pumps are not recyclable, more and more people are realizing that recycling is not the only answer to sustainability. With a reported 6.9 billion pounds of plastic waste populating the planet, a search for more sustainable packaging is the responsible thing for skincare companies to do.
Sustainable Skincare Packaging
Throughout the manufacturing and fulfillment processes, there are countless ways to choose eco-friendly packaging materials for skincare that are also affordable, efficient, and beautiful. Both the primary and secondary packaging can be designed with sustainability in mind, using some (or all!) of these concepts.
Choose Sustainable Materials
There are a host of environmentally-friendly packaging materials available nowadays, including:
- Cornstarch packaging, also known as Polylactic Acid packaging or PLA packaging
- Seaweed packaging
- Bamboo packaging
- Silicone packaging
- Beeswax packaging
- Metal packaging
- Post-consumer recycled plastic packaging
Offer Refillable Packaging
Even some luxury brands are offering sustainable, refillable packaging. The idea is that customers make a one-time investment in product packaging, the order refills to reuse this packaging over and over again. One such company has even implemented refillable concrete jars for skin creams, balms, and exfoliants, while another brand is creating packaging from bamboo.
Plastic is notoriously hard to recycle. Some brands like Glossier are opting to ship their cleansers and other skincare products in glass bottles, which not only are easier to recycle but feel much more luxurious. This not only allows online skincare brands to choose a more environmentally-friendly package, but it becomes a marketing tool too: It is chic and special and also sustainable.
Work with a Sustainable Fulfillment Partner
At OceanX, we understand that for skincare brands, eco-friendly products, packages, and processes throughout the supply chain are essential to protect our planet. But we also believe that eco-friendly packaging and fulfillment can be even more efficient and affordable than other alternatives.
We got our start in the world of skincare. There are countless intricacies to creating sleek packaging that tells your brand’s story while also optimizing fulfillment and caring for the environment. We’ll help you develop packaging and processes that serve the planet without breaking the bank. This includes:[Text Wrapping Break]
- Optimizing packaging shapes and sizes for lighter, more compact packages to reduce the volume of materials needed and cut back on transit emissions.
- Tracking lots and applying first-in, first-out fulfillment practices for picking and packing to avoid wasted skincare products.
- Inventory forecasting to avoid overordering or unsold, expired products
- Safe recycling and disposal practices.
We are committed to eco-friendly packaging, products, and processes and we are eager to be part of your sustainability journey. To learn more, contact us today.