Consumers must be educated to make cosmetics packaging sustainable

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Paul Hermann, SK Chemical
Paul Hermann, SK Chemical
Educating consumers is the only way brand owners can ensure that cosmetic packaging reaches sustainability goals according to a Korean chemical manufacturer.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign.com USA, Paul Hermann, General Manager Business Development, SK Chemicals, says the consumer can only help if they become educated with facts supplied by the brand owners.

“Some of the largest companies in the world have Sustainability goals in place with defined time lines and measurements towards progress posted on their web sites, that message needs to be on the package whenever feasible,”​ he says.

For example, packaging should state that the product is being sold in a certain size package to reduce the brand owner’s carbon footprint by X​%.

​[This] sends a message to the consumer, educates the consumer, and takes very little effort to communicate particularly on a larger package, at the same time the mention of sustainable materials should also be on the package to make the consumer aware of the brand owners commitment to sustainable packaging,”​ Paul explains.

Commitment

Hermann explains that apart from minimizing product packaging and using sustainable materials, consumer can be encouraged to recycle the brand owners packaging by creating recycle centers where the product is sold, and if the original packaging can be reused, it should be stated on the package.

“Simply put, it is about a commitment on the brand owner’s and the consumer part: if the consumer understands the reasons for conventional packaging changing, or the ability to easily recycle a used package, they will support the effort, maybe not 100%, but in continuously increasing  increments as the effort to educate takes root.”

The SK Chemical man says cosmetics brands can also utilize bulk containers and refills which avoids packs being thrown away or even recycled.

“Another method is to sell hair care products in 30 oz containers instead of the more common 7 oz and 15 oz - the immediate result is a 75% decrease in packages on a 7 oz bottle, and 50% less packaging on a 15oz bottle,”​ continues Hermann.

“It is common for Facial Creams to have several sizes of thick wall jar packaging from 7ml through 75ml; reduce the number of sizes to a 7ml ‘sample’ and a 75ml jar for daily use - this requires a commitment from the Brand Owners and an explanation to the consumer.”

Paul will be discussing sustainable packaging at the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York on May 15-17. For more details, click here​.

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