What is the greatest complication/challenge/consideration in choosing materials for environmentally responsible cosmetics/personal care/fragrance packaging?
Beauty Packaging asked industry suppliers and experts what they are experiencing as they engage in brand interactions. With so many variables, education continues to be key.
David Luttenberger, global packaging director, Mintel
“For many BPC brands, product format and ingredients require specific materials. That means some of the next-generation technologies consumers might believe are a panacea [compostable packaging, ocean plastics, bio-based plastics] may not be the more environmentally responsible choice. But don’t get ‘scientific’ with them. Explain your choices and decisions in terms consumers can both understand and act on.”
Thomas Chun, project engineer, HCT Group
“The greatest complication is checking off all of the boxes. It is difficult to find a material that is made of recycled materials, is recyclable, has a minimal carbon-foot print, is biodegradable or compostable, and does not require brands to change their aesthetic. There are so many options that have different pros and cons and it gets very confusing, especially for brands what sustainable means. HCT is trying to educate brands through more what their options are, and helping them develop their packaging in a way that aligns with their sustainability goals.”
Maurizio Ficcadenti, global R&D manager, Baralan
“The challenge is in finding the correct set of sustainable materials that are chemically compatible with the product of the client. Consequently, the life-cycle of the product-packaging combination needs to be the best eco-sustainable solution. This can be determined in collaboration with the brand.”
Brandon Frank, President of Pacific Packaging Components
“The Three C’s: Cost, Color, Complications. Cost will most likely be higher. Color will be limited especially with higher percentages of PCR. Complications will stem from the current supply stream of PCR, testing compatibility, and durability concerns.”
Daniel Campbell, senior packaging engineer, FusionPKG
“To find ways to balance performance for their products, especially those within the ‘clean beauty’ trend of less preservatives and harmful substances, with their eco goals and commitments. At FusionPKG, we are excited to have our line of elite quality airless packaging, which protects many of these clean formulas, while allowing for the consumer to recycle the package after its intended use.”
Melanie Gaudun, business development manager, Viva
“The challenge is to maintain a unique brand look that is enticing to the consumer and have more sustainability. Viva’s in-mold label provides 360-degree, shoulder to crimp high definition artwork that covers the PCR in the sleeve, which is a medium grey.”
John Ulibarri, senior account executive, JSN: “Mainly it’s a cost consideration. Companies want to be green but don’t always want to pay for it.”
Rosa Porras, marketing communications manager, Virospack
“There are two main concerns we find when looking for choosing materials for environmentally responsible cosmetics packaging. The first is the compatibility of environmentally responsible materials with cosmetic formulas. The second is the premium image that many brands and consumers want, such as a mirror-like gloss finish of a metal shell or a metallic finish for example."
"For compatibility, we offer a test lab to brands, and for premium finishes, we are investing in new proposals that offer luxury finishes that are more respectful with the environment. In this sense, last year we presented a new brighter luxury look PP cap that’s eco-friendly. It´s a cap with an injected plastic shell and a gloss finish without paint. It´s a new proposal of droppers with a cap that doesn´t need inks, so we reduce CO2 emissions and the environmental impact.”
Jason Sullivan, associate VP of sales and marketing, Golden Arrow
“Many cosmetic companies beautify their packaging with complex colors and shiny finishes. Some of these printing capabilities are not applicable to molded fiber. That being said, there are a number of different cosmetic finishing options to choose from when working with molded fiber.”
Syeira Simon, product development and formula innovation manager, Cosmopak
“The greatest challenge is that recyclability is not ‘one size fits all;’ a packaging material that a consumer buys in one city might not be recyclable in the next.”
Federico Prestini, managing director, Premi
“The greatest challenge is to find a compromise between an eco-friendly pack and luxury products because eco-friendly packs are limited in some material and finishing choices.”
Sarah Carson, vice president of marketing, Rohrer
“For many brands, budget is king; and green packaging can be pricey. Rohrer offers price parity across our combo solutions, and cost is no longer a differentiator for brands that use carded blister packaging. There is also a concern that packaging with recycled materials may not have the same premium look as virgin materials. Rohrer tested its ecoCombo post-consumer recycled materials rigorously, and selected substrates to ensure superior printing quality, and blister clarity.”
Renaud Baker, general manager, Hana Innovations America, Inc
“The greatest hurdle is function. An all-plastic pump needs to function in the same way as a conventional (metal-spring) pump mechanism, pass all packaging function tests and meet a certain level of aesthetic characteristics.”
Robert Bulla, director of engineering & packaging, APC
“First is getting through the misconceptions. Everyone had been asking for glass until people started realizing all glass is not recyclable. Now PCR is the new buzzword, but at the rate of consumption of PCR as it stands right now, both glass and plastic will have issues with not only cost but supply. We have in plastics and glass a huge issue that has not been considered."
"Plastic is recycled at a rate of about 30% globally and glass is recycled at an even greater percentage. Only problem with plastics is that we are still not accounting for the other 70%. For glass, we aren’t accounting for the use of silica sand which is used for glass production at a greater rate than what the planet can replenish.”
Gary Myer, AVP, global packaging engineer, WWP
“There are pros and cons of each approach and material. These need to be considered and vetted on a case-by-case basis.”
Patrick McGee, vice president, marketing, HLP Klearfold
“The beauty industry is one of the largest users of plastic folding cartons. Clear plastic cartons provide beauty marketers with packaging that creates strong visual impressions, provides a value-added appearance and an exceptional shelf presence. It supports premium positioned products, and has a proven record of enhancing beauty brands’ performance."
"The use of clear packaging is the ultimate way to showcase beauty products, allowing consumers to see the beauty products or primary package directly and, in the case of color cosmetics, allows consumers to see the shades directly.”
Inger Henke, business director, BillerudKorsnäs
“Understanding the source of raw material components in packaging. When brands are purchasing secondary packaging, those sources are not always obvious or revealed. Knowing the source and environmental performance of the raw material suppliers is an important first step in sustainable sourcing strategies.”
Feature: On Becoming Sustainable ASAP