Importance of Sustainability in Cosmetic Packaging

Published: 07th October 2011
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With previous decades showing a rise in environmental awareness and consumer interest, sustainability in the cosmetic packaging industry is no longer considered a fad. It has become an accepted trend, and predicted to become a global way of life. In addition to consumers’ growing earth-friendly attitudes, corporate boards have also caught wind of the effects of sustainable practices on profitability, and have propelled efforts into high gear. Although the move toward sustainable packaging has been brewing for quite some time, conditions are now right for gale-force change.

Sustainability and going green is a requirement that consumers are demanding of certain industries, and the cosmetic packaging industry is one of these. Eco-friendly is something that is most sought after and hence products that are advertised as eco-friendly are a big hit. By using alternative materials, changing the design process and incorporating biodegradable additives, many cosmetic packaging companies are embracing the eco-friendly mind-set. Sustainability is fast gaining momentum as due a number of factors some of which are target market, competition, supply chain, non-government organizations, government, media, etc. With sustainability being embraced by consumers, retailers, manufacturers and world governments, it is predicted that that eco-friendly packaging would almost double in revenues by 2014. A recent study has also predicted that plastic based packaging will be the fastest growing segment of sustainability as more eco-friendly plastic options become available. No doubt that plastic is common in almost every packaging sector, the cosmetic packaging industry is also no different. The stress on landfill can be reduced by the cosmetic packaging industry with the use of more eco-friendly plastics and "light-weighting" packaging.

Cosmetic packaging designers are responsible for designing the shape of cosmetic bottles, with the potential of reducing the amount of plastic and with sustainability being such a key issue in packaging, designers have the authority to add their input. Designers now carry the responsibility to seek ways to reduce the plastic in bottles. This not only provides huge savings to the company, more importantly, it also causes a dramatic reduction in waste. Although it is inevitable that plastic ever be completely eliminated from cosmetic packaging, there are other alternatives that are not only more sustainable but also have the capacity of adding a richer feel to the product. The other alternatives include glass, aluminum, fabric, bamboo and much more. Combining these materials can often lead to a stronger finished product.

As customers are looking to use more environmentally friendly materials in the products that they use, they expect luxury cosmetics to have the same level of luxury packaging. The cosmetic industry has numerous packaging options that are sustainable like post-consumer recyclable, biodegradable and reusable. A company can look into these eco-friendly options by first assessing their current packaging strategy. Wholesale cosmetic packaging manufacturers too have the power to make a positive impact on the environment by making an effort to be eco-conscious thus making a huge difference in the cosmetic packaging industry.

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