Launched in 2019 around the idea that there is no such thing as good plastic – even the recycled kind eventually ends up in the ocean or a landfill – Plastic Free Beauty Day, held annually on June 17, brings awareness of the need for more sustainable packaging of beauty products.
Consumers globally echo this sentiment, saying they want to reduce plastic use and are looking to brands to offer solutions, according to Mintel. For example, 55 percent of Brazilians think brands should be more proactive in offering sustainable solutions; in Norway, 62 percent of consumers think brands should reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use; and 71 percent of French consumers would like to see more innovative sustainability solutions from big beauty brands.
The beauty industry is listening, with our beauty team seeing shifts in four ways:
- Development of solid forms of products.
While still niche, brands are switching to solid formats that use less water than liquids and eliminate plastic packaging. For example, ŌMAKA Naturkosmetik shampoo soap bar retails in an unlined and unbleached board sleeve that allows the beauty of the natural fibers in the board to shine through.
- Promotion of refillable versions.
Brands are integrating reusable applicators and containers into their brands, allowing consumers to buy refills of the product itself. This limits plastic use and promotes recycling. A recent example in facial skincare is Bernard Cassiere’s Spirulina Youth Comfort Cream. The cream is presented in refill pots, which are presented as more economical and eco-friendly.
- More glass, less plastic.
Consumer interest in using fewer disposable options have some brands integrating glass packaging. For example, Spanish cosmetics brand Babaria is turning to glass as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Its Babaria Bio collection, available in Colombia, uses plastic-free containers that include glass jars that are recyclable, reusable and/or come from sustainable resources.
- Use of natural fibers as fillers.
For products that require a moisture barrier, new innovative plastic materials incorporate natural fibers as a filler to reduce plastic use. For example, Hydro Phil toothpaste retails in a tube that reduces plastic use by incorporating 95% PEFC-certified spruce wood. To reinforce this positioning, the plastic cap is decorated with an outer wood shroud.
At Lubrizol, we’re here to support our customers on their integration of sustainable practices and continue to enhance our own sustainability initiatives. We’re committed to helping the world move cleaner, create smarter and live better.