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How aluminum packaging is changing the face of beauty brands

Beauty packaging waste​    

Every year, the beauty industry produces 120 billion units of packaging, most of which cannot be recycled [1]​. Take plastic for example, since 1950 only 9% of the plastic produced in the world has been recycled, with the rest dumped into landfills and oceans, or incinerated simply because it is too expensive to repurpose [2]​.

In the face of these challenges, beauty brands and consumers alike have been taking steps to move towards the use of more eco-friendly packaging to help alleviate the impact on the environment. According to an eCommerce consumer survey of 1,137 people done by Dotcom Distribution [3]​, beauty shoppers agreed that the environmental factor most influencing their decision to shop with a brand is sustainable packaging. For instance, 82% of the respondents opt to receive an online order in a box rather than a poly bag, with 27% of that group citing that their choice was due to boxes being more eco-friendly and reusable. Similarly, in another poll of 2,000 consumers done by weDo/Professional (sustainable professional arm of the hair care brand Wella), 54% of those surveyed consider sustainability a key factor when purchasing beauty, hair, and skincare products. More than half of those in the study (56%) believe it’s important to look for products that have recyclable packaging [4]​.

Today’s socially conscious consumers are more tuned into environmental issues than ever before, and brands are taking note. In line with the demand and trend for eco-friendly packaging, many beauty brands are leading the way for change, with some even committing to making their packaging 100% plastic-free or recyclable in the next few years.

Aluminum

Amongst the different eco-friendly materials that are being explored by brands to produce their beauty packaging, one has emerged as a popular choice: aluminum. Aluminum is light, durable, and reusable – one of the most recycled and recyclable materials in the market today. This material can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its properties, creating a true closed loop when collected, recycled, and reused. Furthermore, recycling this material saves 95% of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source [5]​. With so many environmentally friendly properties, aluminum is a good option when it comes to bringing a significant reduction in carbon footprint and energy consumption.

Beauty Innovations with Aluminum

Beauty brands have been making efforts to reduce packaging impact by switching to aluminum material. For instance, Unilever debuted a new line, Love Beauty and Planet, featuring shampoos and conditioners in reusable aluminum bottles, something that the company says creates a plastic reduction of 56.7% for each reuse [6]​. REN Clean Skincare also launched a zero-waste aluminum tube for its sample giveaways. In addition to the sustainable properties of aluminum, the brand chose this material due to its ability to protect the product within from light degradation and other possible oxidation. Aluminum can be made malleable so that all the product within the packaging can be squeezed out to prevent any waste [7]​.

Aluminum is also the material of choice for beauty brands as it is highly compatible with different types of formulations. Recently, the CBDA company NeXtraction launched its first personal care brand, Kriva, using aluminum bottles from Meiyume, an end-to-end beauty solutions provider. The brand chose to use Meiyume’s flagship Infinite Aluminum range because the talented team of metal experts there is able to craft the bottles in a way that gives them smooth curvature bottoms and streamlined shapes, feats that are usually difficult to do with this type of material. In addition, Meiyume can leverage its expertise in decoration techniques to create end products that fully represent the brand story.

With consumers hyper aware of the condition of the environment, it is now more important than ever that the beauty industry reduces its carbon footprint and continues evolving to adapt to these needs. While brands are starting to address these issues and trends, brand partners and solutions providers like Meiyume are also paving the way to bring more on-trend, innovative, and sustainable products to the market.

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References:

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/apr/17/how-green-lipstick-beauty-brands-reduce-plastic-waste-makeup-packaging-recycled-lush-garnier

[2] https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/environment-plastic-oil-recycling/

[3] https://dotcomdist.com/2021-dotcom-distribution-ecommerce-consumer-study/

[4] https://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/news/article_page/64_of_consumers_find_it_difficult_to_buy_sustainable_beauty_products/177154

[5] https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-benefits-recycling#:~:text=Recycling%20of%20aluminum%20cans%20saves,cubic%20yards%20of%20landfill%20space​.

[6] https://www.packworld.com/issues/sustainability/article/21497583/love-beauty-and-planet-debuts-reusable-aluminum-bottle

[7] https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/ren-clean-skincare-zero-waste-aluminum-tube/

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