Sustainable Beauty Packaging: My 7 top tips
With the latest consumer trends in 2023, it's clear that there is now more than ever a greater need for brands to start taking their sustainable beauty packaging seriously.
"With 95% of cosmetic packaging thrown away, packaging is one of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the beauty industry."
British Beauty Council
There are many ways to make your health and beauty packaging sustainable. The most common ones include the following:
• Using biodegradable or recyclable materials.
• Minimising excess packaging.
• Using refillable packaging.
• Using eco-friendly inks & aesthetics and providing clear information to consumers.
Choosing the right option will depend on your packaging requirements and budget. It's also worth considering how your customer will interact with the product and maintain that elevated customer experience.
Bearing in mind that there is a growing demand from eco-conscious customers that beauty brands step up and do their bit towards improving the environmental impact and are open to calling out the ones who need to hit the mark. Studies have also shown that consumers are willing to pay a premium for beauty brands doing their bit for the environment. It's a win-win situation. Not only will it help the environment, but it will also improve your brand perception with consumers.
Now that I've laid the foundations, here are some tips for making sustainable beauty packaging effective.
1. Use recyclable and biodegradable materials
Glass is a firm favourite with beauty brands as it's infinitely recyclable. One thing to consider is that glass is heavy, increasing your shipping carbon footprint. Aluminium is another excellent choice as it can be melted down and reused endlessly. It's light (meaning low shipping carbon emissions) and durable. Recycled paper is another fantastic option for cartons and mailer boxes. Suppliers are continually pushing the boundaries with new material innovations that are eco-friendly and biodegradable. New boys on the block include moulded pulp, paper and ocean-bound plastic recyclable materials.
Unsure of where to begin? Check out Guacamole Airplane’s amazing guide on sustainable materials here.
Not only does hair and body brand Everist use aluminium packaging but it’s also 3x concentrated, meaning less product waste.
2. Say "yes" to recycled plastic
Plastic has been given a bad name in the industry. Until the development of recyclable plastic made an appearance. Created with post-consumer waste, these are more widely available than ever. Look for Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or Ocean Bound Plastics (OBP).
3. Minimise excess packaging
One of the easiest ways to implement sustainability into your packaging is to eliminate all unnecessary elements of the package whilst ensuring you maintain that elevated customer experience.
4. Use eco-friendly inks and aesthetics
Every year millions of containers are rejected by recycling partners because of label incompatibility issues. To fully maximise sustainable packaging, brands must understand the best materials or eco-friendly inks. Speak with your suppliers or printers as early as possible to future-proof your packaging.
Saie's Glowy Super Gel Highlighter glass packaging uses an eco-friendly water-based spray to achieve different effects on the glass whilst not impacting its recyclability.
5. Embrace reusable and refillable
The refillable revolution within health and beauty brands is an ongoing trend which reduces waste and the reliance on single-use practices. Another way to contribute to the circular economy is to offer a take-back scheme whereby customers can return their empties whilst providing rewards to customers for doing so.
Deodorant brand Fussy embracing the refill, reuse, repeat mantra.
6. Educate your consumer
Making your customer jump through hoops by checking with local councils to determine if a product can be recycled isn't a great customer experience. Be clear, guide your customer on recycling the product, and include 'on pack' recycling icons and information.