The Sustainable Packaging Cosmetics Roundtable is designed to enhance the ability of its members to make their own individual choices as to how to interact with suppliers, retailers and consumers with respect to sustainable packaging.
"Cosmetic companies are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainable packaging within their corporate social responsibility initiatives," says John Delfausse, current chair of the roundtable.
Sustainable packaging challenge
“The demanding requirements for innovation and performance make sustainable packaging design a challenge in today's competitive environment."
Inaugural members include Avon Products, Chanel, Coty, L'Oreal, Mast Global Beauty & Home, and Estee Lauder.
Delfausse said that Sustainable Packaging Cosmetics Roundtable's companies realize "the importance of adopting a new vision for packaging; one emphasizing a ‘design, reuse, and recover' model, rather than the traditional 'reduce, reuse, and recycle' approach."
He added that the ultimate goal is promoting economic and environmental health through supply chain collaboration.
Drive and measure
According to roundtable participants, another challenge is deciding how companies drive and measure their progress in sustainability.
Darlene Schuster, executive director of the Institute for Sustainability, explained that as cosmetic companies develop design guidelines and common metrics for measuring sustainability accomplishments, and deal with extended producer responsibilities in product and packaging life-cycles, "there are lessons to be learned from a broad spectrum of industries."
According to AIChe, since its initiation, the roundtable has identified responsible material sourcing, responsible manufacturing practices and responsible product stewardship as key elements of achieving that goal.
“By identifying and working with materials and suppliers that are unique to the cosmetic industry, the roundtable members believe they will be able to realize opportunities for a more sustainable cosmetic industry,” says a statement from the organization.