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L’Oreal USA ups its sustainable packaging drive

By Andrew McDougall , 14-Mar-2011
Last updated on 14-Mar-2011 at 17:39 GMT

The global beauty firm’s US subsidiary has made inroads to reduce the environmental impact of its beauty product packaging by introducing two new assessment tools to its package design process.

“Although we have made significant inroads in reducing the environmental impacts of our product packaging, there is still much more to do,” said Philippe Bonningue, vice president Packaging & Development Corporate Operations.

“In addition to testing new materials from renewable sources like green-PE, bio-PET and PLA, and identifying opportunities for refillables, light weighting, recycled content and the use of cardboard from only certified wood sources, we are committed to offering consumers more sustainable product choices.”

Packaging contributes significant environmental impacts

L’Oreal USA said it recognizes that packaging contributes significant environmental impacts within the overall lifecycle of a personal care product, so it is determined to make meaningful improvements in its packaging design and adhere to a packaging policy based on the principles of Respect, Reduce and Replace.

The two new tools to be implemented are its Sustainable Packaging Scorecard (SPS) and PIQET (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool).

SPS is a proprietary assessment tool that the company developed and piloted last year, its purpose being to evaluate the environmental sustainability of the company’s product packaging and to have each new product assessed using seven criteria:

  • The use of bio-plastics
  • Use of recycled materials
  • PVC-free
  • Use of certified paperboard
  • Packaging volume relative to the fill weight and primary packaging size
  • Use of light-weighting techniques
  • The use of the new eco-conception tool PIQET

Adopting a points scale

L’Oreal USA explained that upon completion of the packaging assessment each product is rated on a point scale with a corresponding color code from green to yellow to red, creating more sustainable packaging and tracking improvements over time.

Available by subscription through the Sustainable Packaging Alliance, PIQET is an online tool that identifies and reviews actions to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, particularly at the design development stage.

PIQET enables packaging specifications, manufacturing and distribution data to be quickly entered and assessed allowing users to explore improvement options by quickly re-running evaluations with changed packaging system specifications.

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