The Estée Lauder Companies leverage molecular recycling tech for sustainable beauty packaging

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (shironosov)
© Getty Images \ (shironosov)

Related tags Plastic Sustainable packaging Estée lauder companies Eastman

In partnership with global specialty materials company Eastman, the beauty maker plans to meet 2025 sustainability goals using recycled and/or recyclable plastic for its luxury cosmetics packaging.

Conventional plastic recycling is a mechanical process. What Eastman specializes in are molecular technologies known as carbon renewal technology (CRT) and polyester renewal technology (PRT). Molecular or advanced recycling processes rely on heat and were conceptualized and developed in the 1960s or 70s.

CRT converts mixed plastics, textiles, and carpet into molecules that can be remade into usable materials. Similarly PRT coverts polyester plastics into usable monomers.

Beauty industry sustainability goals help to change what’s possible with recycling

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is committed to a goal of 75 – 100% of its packaging being recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable by 2025. The deal with Eastman will help meet this goal in so far as it changes what packaging materials used by ELC is and can be recycled.

“We are proud to partner with The Estée Lauder Companies, one of the world's most iconic prestige beauty companies and a true leader in sustainability,” ​says Scott Ballard, Vice President and General Manager for Eastman's specialty plastics division, tells the press.

“We are excited to help them achieve their ambitious sustainability goals right now,” ​he says, ,adding that, “Together, we can provide a shining example of what is possible today—not years in the future—to advance the circular economy.”

The Estée Lauder Companies use sustainable resins from Eastman for sustainable beauty packaging

ELC is the first multinational prestige beauty maker to team up with Eastman on a sustainable packaging solution. And the partnership centers around Eastman’s Renew brand materials, a portfolio of over 20 materials made from molecularly recycled plastics and plastic polyesters.

“Our suppliers play a critical role in helping The Estée Lauder Companies continue to move the needle and think innovatively about sustainability,”​ acknowledges Roberto Magana, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at ELC.

“Eastman's molecular recycling technologies and portfolio of Renew products will help drive the achievement of the company's sustainable packaging goals while maintaining the high-quality aesthetic, safety and performance of our prestige products,” ​says Magana in this week’s press release. “We look forward to collaborating with them.”

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