Personal care and cosmetics companies are increasingly focusing on recyclable and sustainable packaging, as evidenced by recent moves among major players Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Lush Cosmetics.
In January Unilever pledged 100 percent of its plastic packaging will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The same month Procter & Gamble, in partnership with recycling and environmental management companies TerraCycle and Suez, developed the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic.
And just this week Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’ packaging for creams and lotions, the Lush Black Pot, was recognized as the first US Food and Drug Administration rigid packaging application for cosmetics use made from recycled polypropylene (PP), Recycling Today reports.
Lush received the award during the 2017 Association of Plastic Recyclers Plastics Recycling Showcase, which took place in New Orleans this week.
At the plastics recyclers conference, Lush, along with KW Plastics, discussed the technical challenges associated with developing the Lush Black Pot, a 100 percent postconsumer PP package that includes an injection molded container and lid.
“It was imperative that KW Plastics was able to provide consistent quality and contaminant-free feedstock to our molding partner, Plascon Plastics, so that we could have confidence in our packaging,” Gary Calicdan, senior buyer packaging and print of Lush Cosmetics, said. “We were committed to providing a package that was as sustainable and innovative as our products. We were unwilling to compromise quality, such as improper fitting lids, discoloration or over threading, or performance so it was vital that our PCR choice would allow for a sturdy, perfect fit for the pot and lid without any leaking issues.”
Maintaining strict source control of feedstock and meeting regulatory compliance requirements of a cosmetic package also presented tough technical challenges, said Pedro N. Morales, director of sales and marketing for KW Plastics.
Eco-friendly solutions are a growing trend in cosmetics and personal care packaging, Mylan Ngyuen, an analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International says.
“Increased consumer interest in greener packaging, coupled with brand owners and packaging manufacturers’ growing involvement in sustainability, will continue to ensure that new innovations come on stream,” Ngyuen told Cosmetics Design-Europe. “Developing more environmentally friendly packaging solutions will be an important influencer for both brand owners and packaging manufacturers, if also communicated well to consumers.