Photo: Stylist UK
Packaging – mostly in plastic, is an essential part of the makeup industry. It is part of their brand and marketing strategy. Although this is helpful in the industry and the workers benefiting in this sector, the world is taking the hit. The world and the beauty industry has a plastic problem. A problem that has been around time immemorial, yet only little to no solution has been made so far.
Despite the efforts of most environmentalists, plastic problems persist in many areas of the world’s economy. But, just to make it clear, the beauty industry is not the only culprit to this ongoing issue. Almost everywhere, you can see plastic – from your bottled water down to your beauty cream tubes.
While it is true that a lot has been done to eradicate this. The beauty industry plastic problem may still be around for years. Even if there is a zero-waste campaign worldwide – Zero waste does not truly exist at all.
The Impact of Plastics
Why bother? The beauty industry plastic problem is not just for the environmentalists to care about. Everyone is part of the problem, and perhaps the solution in the future. Imagine the amount of plastic you mindlessly use each day. The palette of your favorite eyeshadow, that bottle of your lotion, and the list go on.
What happens when you’re done with them? After throwing these containers in the bin, where do they end up? Throwing these discarded packaging materials in the trash doesn’t necessarily mean they recycled. In fact, many end up just plain pollutants. Yes, on landfills, oceans – to our planet.
To give you a clear idea of how massive the beauty industry plastic problem is. The National Geographic announced that there are more than five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean today. This is just the ones lingering around the ocean. Although there have been efforts to curb this problem, only 31% of this amount is recycled.
If the beauty industry plastic problem and the mindless use of plastic in other industries continue, the issue remains. Pollution as a whole will slowly deteriorate the minimal resources left here on Earth. A sad reality that everyone neglects. Soon, there will be fewer and fewer marine resources and fish in the ocean. If nobody contributes to ease and mitigate this plastic problem, then everyone will suffer.
Ways the Beauty Industry Address the Problem
It’s a great thing that a lot of beauty manufacturers are starting to do its part to ease this plastic problem. Many are slowly making efforts to use alternative packaging materials for their products. The following are a few brands that are doing their part to curb the beauty industry plastic problem.
Lush Cosmetics is one of the firsts to use sustainable packaging. They recently announced that they will be using reusable cork containers in some of their products.
Ethique Beauty sells eco-friendly beauty care products. They use compostable cardboard sleeves and boxes to package their shampoo and deodorant bars.
Seed Phytonutrients sells natural and environment-friendly personal care products. This company is the first and the only brand to use eco-friendly paper bottles. These paper bottles have special mineral coating that quickly dries up moisture and wetness keeping them in perfect form.
Jules and Vetiver perfume brand uses hand-stitched leather case packaging. The artisan case remains as luxurious as its brand.
Best Makeup Packaging Alternatives
It’s a good thing that many brands are starting to churn up this beauty industry plastic problem. It will be a great help in the environment if other brands will use any of these packaging alternatives.
Bamboo makes a perfect packaging solution. It is renewable and sustainable. Bamboo is also easy to cultivate since it grows perfectly in any climate. Lastly, it grows faster than other plants.
Elate is a prime example of a brand of beauty products using reusable compacts made out of bamboo. Their bamboo packaging is processed with water and not some toxic chemicals.
Paper and Cardboard
As long as it is not coated with clear plastic, cardboard is a great packaging option. Just like paper, it is sustainable, reusable, and recyclable. You may also repurpose it for your papier mache projects. Similarly, paper can also be a great solution to pack dry solid products. Aside from being recyclable, you can also re-purpose it as a gift wrapper or as part of your art crafts.
Farmacy Beauty is a luxury skincare brand that uses Neenah’s paperboard. Their paperboard cartons are FSC-certified which means these paper materials come from well-managed forests. The company also uses natural and renewable ink raw materials.
Stainless Steel/ Aluminum
These are durable and easy to clean. Stainless steel and aluminum are both great packaging solutions since they are sturdy and reusable. These alternative packaging options work best for liquid or cream-based products.
Plaine Products packaged their bath and body products in aluminum bottles. They also use eco-friendly shipping cartons, and refill programs to promote sustainable packaging efforts.
Although glass is not biodegradable, it is inexpensive and can be used numerous times. Aside from being recyclable, you can repurpose it in different ways. Glass, just like stainless and aluminum are great for packaging liquid, and cream-based products.
Tata Harper is known for its green and sustainable beauty products. They use glass bottles for all their beauty and skincare lines. They even plant-based ink for printing.
LOLI Beauty (Living Organic Loving Ingredients) is another company that uses alternative packaging materials. It uses food-grade glass yogurt jars, paper bags, boxes, and labels that are reusable and non-toxic.
It’s interesting how better silicone is compared to plastic. Silicone is recyclable, safe, and does not contain toxic materials. Interestingly, producing silicone is more cost-efficient than plastic.
Innerbottle is a Korean brand that’s also joining the bandwagon by using a silicone balloon packaging. This method uses a silicone balloon that sits inside a bottle. Once emptied, the silicone will be pulled for recycling.
Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag is a home product that offers multiple functions. This silicone bag is made of food-grade silicone, so it ensures safety among consumers. It has air-tight, pinch-press self-sealing features.
This material is a good replacement for plastic bags, wraps, and covers. Beeswax-coated fabric is easy to use and clean. It also smells great, so it adds appeal to the product packaging.
Bee's Wraps are very popular among households because of their different uses. You can use them as sandwich wraps, covers for cups and saucers, and cover for cut fruits or vegetables. They are reusable, and easy to clean and store.
Natural Fiber Cloth
Natural cloth is also a great replacement for plastic bags. Natural fiber cloth that is made from cotton, hemp, bamboo fiber or wool, is extremely sustainable. You can wash and reuse it. Recycle or repurpose it. This packaging alternative has infinite use.
Olive Leaf and Honey is a luxury brand that sells skincare products infused with natural herbs and essential oils. The company uses unique drawstring burlap packaging for their items.
Wood or Cork
Both are great packaging materials. They are durable and can be re-purposed in multiple ways. Both are also biodegradable and non-toxic. Wood and cork are best for packaging multiple items for promotional offers.
Kypwell is a wellness brand that sells beauty, and skincare products using the new eco-friendly packaging approach. The company uses compressed wood, cork and sugarcane pulp for their packaging materials.
The Bottom Line
It is not easy to totally eradicate the beauty industry plastic problem. However, if everyone is conscious of what they buy, the harm can be minimized. Remember that everything you buy leaves a footprint in the environment. This is why it’s important to buy things that will just be left as trashed in the environment. Make a conscious effort to buy items that can be used numerous times. If no one will stand firm to stop using plastic. Then the beauty industry plastic problem will not be solved.