Maurizio Ficcadenti, global R&D manager, Baralan
By now, most people are familiar with the three R’s of sustainability: Reduce, reuse and recycle. As consumer eco-consciousness evolves, beauty brand owners that fail to address at least one of those mandates in their packaging solutions are missing out on an opportunity to win customer loyalty. However, the packaging solution capable of checking all three boxes is an industry rarity.
For example, some degree of plastics in a package is often unavoidable — especially for components such as pump parts and product contact linings. But with this, reducing is key. As both consumers and the planet demand mitigating such less-sustainable materials, brand owners capable of minimizing or even eliminating their use set themselves apart.
There are innovative approaches to packaging underway. One material that is getting some fresh attention in the beauty space is glass. While various types of plastics, such as polypropylene and polyethylene, are increasingly accepted by recycling facilities, glass has a head start whose gap will not be closed for quite some time.
Innovating packaging: A new philosophy
When constructing glass containers, recycling is the lowest hurdle. Glass is among the easiest materials to repurpose through current, developed-country recycling streams.
To make glass packaging more appealing to brands and consumers and add to its sustainability, strides have been made to airless delivery systems. With these innovations, there’s no need for an internal plastic container — the product comes into contact with the glass container directly.
Technologies like these represent a new philosophy of primary packaging in glass, using fewer components and significantly reducing the number of overall materials, resulting in a lighter and more functional packaging that also offers a new level of user experience. In addition, its airless nature helps better preserve the integrity of the product ingredients, as does the high-quality glass packaging, which is notably more compatible with formulas.
The glass equation: From sustainability to aesthetics
Beauty brands can use high-quality glass to provide their customers with better aesthetics, better-preserved formulas and more sustainable packaging.
These more sustainable packaging options offer beauty brands the opportunity to use single-use, recyclable glass packaging or refillable glass containers. Refillable options allow for convenient replacements of the beauty products inside once depleted, which in turn allows for the continual reusability of components. Beyond better preserving the integrity of the product’s ingredients, beauty brands can also quickly and practically separate components to continually improve the product lifecycle. This opportunity allows brands to embrace sustainability and eco-consciousness in packaging.
Some of the innovations in this airless technology come from an equally innovative manufacturing process, which significantly reduces energy consumption, adding another sustainable element to the approach.
The last step is reuse. Simply put, it’s a significant bonus when a package is reusable — which, in terms of beauty and cosmetic products, typically means refillable. Many beauty brands incorporate packaging solutions with disposable, replaceable product cartridges. Reusing part of the package reduces the brand’s overall carbon footprint — a sustainability benefit that improves exponentially the more a customer refills.
The availability of this new sustainable packaging solution opens up opportunities for beauty brands that perhaps were looking for a more aesthetically pleasing option before making the switch. Access to innovations that provide brands with easy-to-use options — reducing their energy costs while also providing the consumer with a high-quality, recyclable or reusable container — will help drive and shape the beauty industry’s future, especially as sustainability and eco-consciousness continue to be top-of-mind.
Sponsored By: Baralan