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A handful of cosmetics companies lead the way in green packaging

By Simon Pitman , 25-Aug-2010
Last updated on 25-Aug-2010 at 17:49 GMT

A number of natural cosmetics and personal care companies are leading the way in sustainable and green packaging, according to latest research from Organic Monitor.

With the cosmetics industry slowly turning its attention to sustainable packaging, it is some of the most prominent names in the natural and organic segment that are setting the example for others to follow.

The use of sustainable and recyclable materials is the obvious route to take, a trend that is seeing more and more companies choosing bioplastics as their chosen packaging materials.

One of the most noteworthy advances has come from UK-based Neil’s Yard Remedies, which is currently using Post Consumer Regrind Poly Ethylene (PCR) Terephthalate bottles for a number of its natural and organic personal care products, according to Organic Monitor data.

Burt's Bees goes for recycled materials

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Burt’s Bees is being equally progressive by making a firm commitment to only use packaging recycled materials for its products and has recently pioneered the use of Terra Skin Wraps, an alternative to paper packaging for soaps.

Still in the US, Aveda has increasingly translated its sustainable ethos for formulation into its packaging. According to the Organic Monitor it is the largest user of PCR plastic in the industry, claiming to save over 1 million tons in virgin plastic every year.

The company has also reduced its carbon footprint by recycling an estimated 37 million polypropylene caps, ensuring that all its packaging is made up of at least 80 percent recyled materials and also reducing energy consumption by using wind power at its Minnesota manufacturing facility.

Another crucial element being incorporated into cosmetic and personal care packaging across the board is combining design that not only enhances the aesthetics, but also helps to cut down on the amount of materials that are being used.

Korres saves 11 tons of plastic packaging a year

Greek personal care manufacturer Korres claims that by adopting this kind of design it has managed to save 11 tons of plastic manufacturing material a year.

Even big players such as Procter & Gamble have taken this particular aspect of sustainable packaging on board in a big way. Using computer modeling programs, it claims to have saved over 2,200 tons of plastic a year.

The forthcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, to be held in Paris, 18 – 20 October, will devote a considerable part of the program to discussing the issue of sustainable packaging materials.

A series of workshops and presentation will explore areas including recycling and reducing the amount of packaging materials that companies use. For more information, click here .

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