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SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING 

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INFINITE LIFECYCLES

An estimated 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in productive use today, making it an almost infinite and truly circular packaging material. It's readily recyclable in curbside recycling, durable, waterproof and rising in popularity within the beauty industry. 

Aluminium boasts excellent protection properties by offering an impermeable metal barrier to light, ultra-violet rays, water vapour, oils and fats, oxygen and micro-organisms; making it an excellent material choice for protecting cosmetics, particularly skincare, from external aggressors

From completely recyclable beauty sampling solutions to refills housed in cans, beauty brands are developing creative ways to use this longstanding packaging material in their latest innovations. 

BIO-BASED MATERIALS

Instead of polluting the earth, biocontributing packaging gives something positive back to the environment; boosting biodiversity by adding nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Mycelium - created from mushroom roots - is a top choice due to its excellent thermal insulating and water-resistant properties. On average, mycelium-based packaging can be grown in just seven days and once discarded, it typically composts within forty-five days. 

Bio-based plastics, derived from natural resources such as upcycled food waste or wood cellulose are sustainable, compostable, and versatile enough to house a variety of product categories. Innovations within the space are constantly happening, and there are plenty of bio-based plastic alternatives on the market to date, from cellophane-mimicking wrap to solid plastic alternatives capable of holding liquids that are ideal for beauty products.

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LOOKING FOR SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY PACKAGING IDEAS AND INSPIRATION?

Packaging that delivers a positive environmental or social impact (for example, by reducing waste, increasing biodiversity, or supporting local economies) is critical to the health and vitality of our planet. New sustainable packaging innovations are emerging each day and we've rounded up a few of the latest inspiring sustainable packaging formats to help with your product development plans. 

DISSOLVABLE & NAKED PACKAGING

Ideally, beauty and personal care products would be housed in packaging that leaves behind zero waste and recent innovations within the space are making this concept a reality. Bath and body care brand Plus launched a 'world first' completely dissolvable body wash sachet designed to leave behind absolutely no trace. The body wash is sachet transforms into a rich foam while the creative outer packaging completely dissolves when exposed to water and contains no micro-plastics, ensuring that there is nothing left behind.

Another approach to zero waste packaging is creating formulations that negate the need for packaging altogether, otherwise known as 'naked' packaging. Typically associated with soap, naked formats are starting to make their way through into other areas of the personal care industry. From hair care cubes to solid skincare formulations —personal care brands are getting creative and developing new ways to create products that offer the same benefits as their traditional counterparts, minus the packaging.

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REFILL SOLUTIONS

By implementing refill designs across the beauty and personal care industry, packaging and transport savings would account for a reduction of around 80–85% in greenhouse gas emissions. Refillable containers are becoming more popular and beauty brands are developing different strategies to engage consumers with their refill schemes. 

One of the latest refill initiatives includes selling pre-filled refillable containers that are ready to purchase straight off the shelf, while another involves packaging waterless refills in compostable materials to drastically reduce the products' weight and in turn, reduce carbon emissions during transportation. By developing refill schemes that have minimal interruption to daily routines and existing shopping habits, these brands are breaking down accessibility barriers and increasing the chances that refills will become part of everyday beauty routines.

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