Sustainable plastic packaging for The Body Shop

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Body shop Cosmetics The body shop

Sustainable plastic packaging for The Body Shop
With the help of a California-based tech company, the global beauty brand is making personal care product containers from captured carbon emissions. 

The novel plastic, which several leading consumer brands across industries are starting to work with, will be used by The Body Shop for body butter containers, explains Kari Embree in her item for

Business coalition

Newlight Technologies got its start in 2003 and spent years researching a commercially viable technique for making thermoplastics from airborne emissions. Now, the company’s patented technology is being used to make plastic chairs, plastic bags, and more.

In partnership with The Body Shop, Newlight’s AirCarbon material is getting into the personal care business.

“We are excited about our new research partnership with Newlight,”​ Christopher Davis, international director of sustainability at The Body Shop, tells the press.

“We share their philosophy that a more sustainable future can be achieved through working together, embracing innovation and driving new ways of thinking,” ​he says.

Of course Newlight sees the benefit of working with a personal care company known for its ethics. “The Body Shop has a tradition of leadership in environmental innovation, and we are very pleased to partner with them with the aim of introducing AirCarbon materials into the beauty industry,” ​says Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight.

“Plastic from thin air”

That’s how Ben Tracy, a national correspondent for CBS, described AirCarbon when he visited the production facility in Costa Mesa, California, and saw the plastic pellets made from carbon emissions.

The plastic is billed as a way to manage emissions that would otherwise pollute the air as well as a way to make plastic from something other than drilled oil.

“Caps and containers can be more than caps and containers,” ​says Herrema. “They can be a part of how we create a better world. With The Body Shop, we are replacing oil with carbon that would have otherwise become part of the air and changing the role of materials in society.”

Sustainability boom

Recycling now commonly extends beyond community pickup programs, with brands getting directly involved with post-consumer waste management. The Body Shop, and other popular brands like Keihl’s, encourages customers to bring empty packages back to the store.

And the Vancouver-based social enterprise organization Plastic Bank pays people to gather up plastic from beaches and streets, which is then cleaned and reground for new plastics. What the group calls social plastic gives companies a way to be involved with a program that addresses poverty and pollution, as Cosmetics Design reported​. 

Another sustainable packaging option is paper from sugar cane​, now being distributed across North America by Veritiv.

Earth Pact paperboard, which is made from the material left after the juice is extracted from sugar cane, is “well-suited for a variety of packaging applications in the food, cosmetics and similar industries,”​ the company noted in a recent media release.

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