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- The plastic packaging era
- The plastics paradox
- Plastic-free packaging
Primarily, packaging holds and shields the product formulation against the effects of light, air, moisture, heat, and contamination, as well as expedites delivery of its contents. Packaging for cosmetics is the part of the product that is responsible for the product's physical confinement. The product is not the only thing that the packaging encloses. It consists of things like information booklets and applicators, among other things. As a result, the packaging serves to safeguard the end user by providing details such as how to use the product, what precautions to take, what the ingredients are, and how long it should be used after opening.
There are three levels of packaging available. A product's primary packaging is the material that comes into direct contact with the formulation. Secondary packaging, on the other hand, houses the product and provides protection while enhancing its visual appeal. The outermost layer of protection is known as tertiary packaging, that is, bags.
The plastic packaging era
Plastics have emerged as a prominent material for packaging due to their numerous desired attributes, including heat-sealability, transparency, and a high strength-to-weight ratio. These qualities have contributed to plastics' rise to prominence in the cosmetic industry. Moreover, because of its lightweight nature, capabilities or features, portability, and convenience of use, plastic packaging continues to be one of the most advantageous packaging alternatives available in the market. One of its significant advantages is how simple it is to fabricate them into a wide variety of shapes and forms. As a result, we can create products that are one of a kind.
Plastic bottles make up the majority of personal care packaging, with plastic tubes in second place. On the other hand, plastic is highly contentious because of the widespread belief that it has a detrimental impact on the natural ecosystem.
For many valid reasons, plastic containers and their accompanying packaging have a bad reputation. It takes up to 1,000 years for plastic packaging to degrade naturally, which is an issue given the volume of plastic packaging now in use. This creates a concern for the environment. Plastic debris winds up in water bodies such as seas, rivers, and lakes, and it also contaminates the land, as seen by the presence of litter. Plastic contributes to environmental contamination; it is responsible for the deaths of several species of animals; and the manufacturing of plastic must require a significant amount of energy. One might easily conclude that plastic packaging is detrimental to the environment. Is it, in fact, so?
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The plastics paradox
Plastic packaging, contrary to a common misconception, aids in the reduction of energy use and carbon impact. Using plastic packaging and reusing it several times is an excellent approach for companies to reduce their impact on the environment and the emissions they produce.
Recycling plastic uses less energy than creating new packaging of a comparable design. Plastic packaging requires much less energy to produce than other materials like paper and metal. In the early days of mass-production of plastic, this was a major factor in its rapid adoption. The issue is not that producing plastic requires a significant amount of energy; rather, the issue is that we do not recycle nearly enough of the plastic that we already produce.
Wormser Group, a global leader in beauty packaging, has teamed up with Change Plastic for Good, a biotechnology company. By working together, they have come up with a recyclable and biodegradable plastic packaging line that is both environmentally friendly and safe for the environment.
The organic biodegradation boosting polymer known as BDP®, which is incorporated into the plastic during the manufacturing process, is key to the success of this innovative kind of plastic packaging. The modified plastics are degraded when they are subsequently placed in an environment devoid of oxygen and abundant in microbes. The byproducts of this process are biogas, which may be recovered and used as a source of renewable energy, and organic compost.
Major breakthroughs in innovative packaging have focused primarily on various elements of sustainability, such as the capability to recycle, biodegrade, compost, refill, and reuse containers, as well as the use of biobased materials or raw materials produced from renewable resources. These tendencies are being pushed ahead by a number of different forces, the first of which is an increased eco-consciousness on the part of individual customers. In addition, businesses are putting more of an emphasis on the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) in an effort to seem more futuristic.
It's no secret that suppliers are looking for ways to make their businesses and the cosmetics companies they work with more eco-friendly. Among these are using less material, increasing the proportion of PCR materials in their packaging, switching to single-material packaging, employing innovative material combinations, and utilizing recyclable or refillable containers.
Sustainable packaging has several drawbacks though, including the fact that it might be prohibitively costly for a company that manufactures large batches of products every day. If, on the other hand, you package your products in eco-friendly materials, you have the ability to charge a higher price for them since this one facet of your manufacturing has the potential to become the one thing that sets your brand apart from competitors.
Taking into account environmental constraints, effectiveness, safety, and regulatory concerns, Eurofins has developed a three-step process to assess sustainable packaging safety. The first step is to do a regulatory and safety examination of the packaging material as well as to evaluate any possible container-content interactions.
In the next step, analytical testing is carried out by analyzing hazardous toxins as well as establishing food contact testing (NIAS) and validating the packability for refilling in points of sale, in addition to compostability testing.
Finally, an audit is carried out by inspecting the supply chain, including manufacturers and suppliers of packaging materials.
As a beauty business, you may use these options for packaging your beauty products in an eco-friendly way.
Aluminum, tin, and stainless steel are the most popular metals used in plastic-free packaging.
Aluminum is an excellent material for the packaging of cosmetics since it is non-toxic, easy to recycle, lightweight, user-friendly, and functional in both cold and hot climates. Recycling aluminum requires a smaller amount of energy due to its resistance to corrosion as well as its lower melting point in comparison to glass. As a result of the fact that aluminum is more durable than glass as well, it enables cosmetic businesses to use a lesser quantity of other types of packaging materials, thus decreasing the total weight and volume of the package.
In contrast to glass and some types of plastic, this material cannot be seen through and cannot be compressed in any way. Aluminum is more expensive for producers, but when you consider breakages, shipping expenses, and consumer worries regarding plastic, it becomes less expensive.
Stainless steel and tin are among the most prevalent recyclable materials, with recycling rates in the range of 70 to 90 percent.
Bamboo is a renewable resource that may be used to create eco-friendly cosmetic packaging. This kind of packaging has a lower effect on the environment and encourages the formulation of a cleaner product. In the cosmetic and personal care industry, bamboo has come to symbolize not just eco-friendliness but also a sense of opulence and sophistication. Bamboo has a number of advantages, including strength and durability that are superior to that of typical wood, the capacity to be reused and recycled, rapid growth, the use of locally obtained materials, biodegradability, and compostability.
More and more products are being packaged in an environmentally responsible manner using paper instead of plastic, which has long been utilized as a packaging material. Paper is an eco-friendly alternative to one-time use plastics since it is both renewable and biodegradable. Being lightweight makes it a better option than glass. This makes it a more sustainable choice for protective packaging.
However, in order to maintain the integrity of the product, the paper used in the packaging of cosmetics and toiletries must be coated with a water-repellent chemical of some type, whether it be natural or synthetic. This may make the packaging non-recyclable and less sustainable.
PCR is the abbreviation for Post-Consumer Recycled Material or Post-Consumer Resin. PCR technology can turn recycled plastics, which would have otherwise been disposed of in a landfill, into new packaging that has the appearance and texture of a pricey product whilst also meeting the needs of your buyers and ensuring their continued contentment with your products. As a result, it prevents future depletion of our scarce fossil fuel resources and the use of petrochemical resins.
If you're looking for an eco-friendly packaging alternative, consider PCR Packaging. PCR packaging offers a number of advantages. It's a versatile material that can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. It has the same resistance to wear and tear as PET plastics, and it looks very much the same. Its production utilizes less energy than that of other PET plastics, and since it can be recycled again for various industrial purposes, it contributes to the formation of a more sustainable society.
PCR packaging may be a terrific way to educate consumers about environmental impact and sustainability without sacrificing product packaging quality.
It used to be that refills were a rarity in the cosmetic industry, but now they're becoming more commonplace to reduce the continued use of plastic packaging and its environmental impacts.
Reusable packaging not only helps businesses lessen their environmental impact, but it's also a terrific way to communicate with end users and increase the value of the product. Plastic waste may be dramatically reduced while retaining users who return to buy the product again and again.
Refillable packaging poses a hurdle in that the primary packaging of the product must be cleaned before reuse in order to prevent contamination of the refill batch of the product, limiting its shelf life and effectiveness of the preservative. Cleaning typically involves washing with hot soapy water, which is a possible cause of microbial contamination as well.
Refillable packs have a plethora of choices nowadays; for example, bottles and jars have interchangeable components, such as those with removable interior portions. In theory, this opens up almost limitless design possibilities for cosmetic businesses, but transporting and packing the many components remains a challenge. As a result, careful consideration must be given to the consequences.
Some of the most promising choices for sustainable packaging are the new biobased materials, including cornstarch, seaweed, mushrooms, and beeswax.
Polylactic acid (PLA) obtained from biomass like corn starch or sugarcane is used to manufacture cornstarch packaging. Since it can be recycled and it can also be broken down into smaller components, using it as a packaging material is an environmentally friendly choice. As a result of the fact that it is non-toxic and does not generate a significant quantity of emissions, an increasing number of businesses are looking at cornstarch packaging as a potential replacement for other types of packaging. There are still a variety of solutions available to include this sort of packaging into general operations, despite the fact that there are worries about supply chains in the event that it is employed to a larger extent.
When it comes to packaging, seaweed may not seem like the obvious choice. It is possible to use seaweed packaging since it is edible, biodegradable, and dissolvable. It has a lot of potential for food packaging, but it might also be used for cosmetic packaging.
Reusable materials include beeswax and dried mushrooms. Beeswax may be used as a plastic alternative, and mushrooms can be used to make boxes.
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