Sustainable Cosmetic Containers
Think about your most recent skin, body or hair care product you purchased. What made you buy THAT product? Have you purchased it before? Did you plan to buy it? What did you like about the packaging? What didn’t you like about the packaging? Once you took it home, was there anything else you noticed about the packaging that you may or may not have liked? What about sustainable or eco-friendly packaging? Did sustainable cosmetic containers being important happen to cross your mind?
Sustainable cosmetic containers and products are an important area that consumers are taking notice. Organic and/or natural skin, body and hair care product use has been on the rise for some time, but lately the packaging and containers the products are in are becoming important as well. Consumers are looking for more eco-friendly, reusable, less packaging, recycled, and/or glass containers and less plastic.
What Makes a Sustainable Cosmetic Container?
How do we know if the products we purchase are in sustainable cosmetic container? Well, there is no actual strict definition or criteria on what makes something eco-friendly. There is a lot that goes into it that needs to be thought out. The EPA identifies several important factors to what makes a product “more green” including toxic exposures, water pollution, natural resources used (including water and materials), etc. A container/package might be considered sustainable if it is made from renewable, recycled or biodegradable materials. Other factors to think about include the shape and weight of the container as this affects the shipping/transportation of the product. Also, the energy it takes to actually make the container/package including if toxic materials are used and the impact the manufacturing process has on the environment.
However, using sustainable containers and packaging is not that simple. It is really important that you test out your product in the container. Many recycled and biodegradable materials may not hold up depending on what raw materials are used in the product. Cost is another aspect to think about. Most sustainable packaging is going to cost more, so thinking how that will affect your pricing is important.
It is very important to explore how you package your professional natural skin, body or hair care product prior to putting your product out on the market. Often times we pick out a package due to aesthetics- what packaging we like the best. Aesthetics is obviously important, as it’s usually what initially attracts us to the product. However, aesthetics alone is not enough to go by. It is important to look at the “whole package” so to speak. Make sure to also think about the environmental impact your packaging has as consumers are taking notice!
Sustainable Container Concepts
Some companies are using innovative packaging concepts. This includes containers that are made by renewable ingredients such as vegetable or soy-based inks, or plant-based plastics.
- Plastic caps made from renewable plant-based soy
- Recycled glass containers
- Recycled plastic bottles or caps
- Cardboard cartons, made with 100% recyclable material
Select Sustainable Products
You can also select to purchase or sell products that can come easily in sustainable packaging. This can be shampoo bars, facial cleaning pods, body soap. All these hair and skin care products do not need a large plastic container and usually come in biodegradable packaging.
We teach how to make sustainable hair and skin products such as shampoo bars, cleansing bars and facial pods in The Formulators LAB. Here is where we offer continual training and support for formulators, including formulation classes!