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Designing Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Today, consumers have become aware of the importance of respecting the environment within cosmetics as a whole. This involves the product itself but also everything that orbits around, surrounds it production, the origin of ingredient materials and, of course, the packaging. Those are very important factors that pushes brands to change their means of creation.

Yesterday's packaging, and its effects

Indeed, the packaging is the signature of a product. It is the first factor to convey the message of a product and the overall values ​​of a brand. Therefore, brands have always revamped their creativity to find packaging that will create an excitement with customers. Nonetheless, for a long time, it was at the expense of the environment.The race was in the flashiest colors, the use of non-recyclable plastic because it is much less fragile, the frequent marketing of single-use products. All this without worrying too much about the consequences of such consumption.

However, the environmental impact is significant. Because it acts on deforestation, the thinning of the ozone layer, the risk of freshwater availability, and the imbalance of biodiversity etc.

It recognized that cosmetic packaging takes hundreds of years to disappear. Besides, around 70% of plastics are not recycled, and a large part ends up in the oceans. Initially, that creates several problems, the most apparent disturbance of the food environment of local flora and fauna. Furthermore, a side effect is that bacteria attached to plastics grow and proliferate, causing new diseases in marine life.

Today's evolution

But today it is evolving. The awareness of the importance of preserving our resources and limiting the production of waste is very present. It starts in our kitchens with the importance of eating healthy, paying attention to where and how our food is produced. And the trend is now spreading to our bathrooms.

Consumers are more informed and motivated to buy differently. Studies show that more and more of them are ready to make efforts, like unscrewing the caps to sort the waste and bring the finished products back to the stores.

 This consumer commitment is indeed a driving factor in the transformation of the production method of cosmetic brands. But cosmetic brands must also raise awareness of this problem. As a result, we realize that the discourse of notable brands has evolved in recent decades. As for the new cosmetic brands in the markets, they automatically take this direction.

Nowadays, there are possible actions to limit the impact on the environment. One of them is eco-design: This is the idea of ​​having targeted packaging for each product. The weight, the size, the shape of the packaging, adapts to each galenic for no more mess. This approach likewise considers the entire packaging system. Of course, the finished product, but also during packaging and commercial transport.

Another solution is to invest in sustainable resources. This can use materials like glass, wood, but also plastic. The principle is to reuse the components used and completely ban the single-use without possible recycling.

 For example, a year of recycling conventional plastics in the United States can save the equivalent amount of energy than removing 360,000 cars from the road.

 And finally, the alternative of using refillable containers can be a great idea.

The Sothys answer

At Sothys, the environment has long been at the heart of the research. In the 1990s, Sothys adopted "green chemistry" to respond to polluting or toxic chemistry.

The green chemistry, sometimes called sustainable or renewable chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, use, and ultimate disposal, cf. US Environmental Protection Agency.

We decided to go further in this process and have redesigned our packaging. Our new packaging is partly made of rPET, which is 100% recycled plastic. The rest is recyclable plastic or glass.

 The objective is to reuse the plastic already in circulation and give it a second life instead of being sent to non-recyclable landfills. The energy-saving is also very interesting because it reduces consumption by 75% compared to virgin PET.

 We also worked on the shape of our packaging. Now our professional size bottles contain 21% less plastic, and the jar 16% less plastic. La crème 128 line also offers refills for less waste. Our packaging is also made up of separate components, and we do not mix materials to facilitate recycling.

 We no longer use Leaflet to limit paper consumption. The information is written directly on the packaging or our website www.sothys-usa.com

Marie Roussel

National Trainer at Sothys USA.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.