Green materials have hit packaging headlines in recent years but the industry has yet to truly embrace them because of functional or aesthetic defaults.
Reconciling sustainability and quality
But now Alcan Packaging Beauty has entered the market with a plastic tube made from up to 60 percent recycled materials that the company claims has the same visual and technical qualities as its other tubes.
The recycled portion of the new tube is made from post-consumer regrind (PCR) in technical language or recycled milk bottles in everyday language. The PCR is used on the outside of the tube while the inner layer is still made from virgin material.
Talking to CosmeticsDesign.com at the PCD Congress in Paris last week, Nicholas Thorne, the innovation and development director at Alcan Packaging Beauty, said PCR is currently the most interesting green material on the market.
Improvements in recycled materials
Thorne said: “The availability and quality of recycled materials has improved significantly.”
Commenting on bio-sourced materials, which compete with PCR in the eco-friendly marketplace, he said we have to wait for the next generation because at present they are not ready to compete on quality with conventional polymers.
“To improve them, we need to improve their barrier properties, temperature resistance and compatibility with our products – cosmetics packaging has to be built to last,” added Thorne.