Designing Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging Ideas For An Eco-Friendly World

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Designing Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging Ideas For An Eco-Friendly World


Featured Image: iStock/Vladyslava Stryhul

Ever stopped and wondered, the lipstick you are using has probably already contributed to damaging the very earth you live on? Well, we are so mesmerized by the way beauty products make us look and feel that we often overlook the harm they do to our environment.

When it comes to cosmetics packaging, business owners need to know that the wrong kind takes decades to break into landfills, and materials like plastic never decompose. Plastic packaging pollutes the land and sea forever, and the only way to save the Earth is by changing the way we make, present, and distribute things.

For a decade now, more and more companies have begun using production methods and packaging materials that are eco-friendly, renewable, and recyclable.

Now, before getting to the sustainable cosmetics packaging trends, ideas and tips, know that packaging plays an important role in brand identity. Your choice of packaging defines the kind of brand you are. Thus, when selecting anything for how to package your beauty products, you need to consider its advantages, disadvantages, usability, sustainability, and durability.

Also, know that cosmetics packaging design needs to be aesthetically charming as well to attract customers, no matter if the style is luxury, high-street, or rustic.

Types Of Eco-Friendly Packaging

Packaging that is used in order to protect our environment is categorized under this umbrella. From laser-printed labels to turning food items into bioplastics for packaging – everything that helps to keep our planet healthy and safe comes under earth-friendly packaging. These materials are unconventional plus challenging and sometimes expensive to avail and use but they are a much better choice.

– Cornstarch Packaging

This organic packaging material has lately swept the environment-friendly industry because it has some positive properties akin to plastic and thus, it is known as PLA packaging, which stands for Polylactic Acid. However, if this material is excessively used then it might affect the world’s food supply chain.

– Seaweed Packaging

Seaweed is edible and biodegradable, plus it can dissolve in water so considering this packaging material for food items is a great choice. Seaweed can be good for single-use face masks and gels, or for liquid-based cosmetics. By using sea vegetables to package products, companies can play an essential part in helping the world reduce waste.

– Bamboo Packaging
Bamboo is a disposable packaging material made from bamboo plants. In Asia alone, there are up to 1,000 species of bamboo, and it is one of the fastest-growing plants. Bamboo is renewable and does not require irrigation or pesticides, so it is free from chemicals. For lightweight packaging, the bamboo sheath does the job but for more durable packaging, the whole plant is used. Bamboo is an excellent eco-friendly option as compared to plastic and paper.

– Silicone Packaging

Silicone is sourced from sand, and although it is not biodegradable, it can be recycled. It does not release any harmful chemicals into the water and soil like plastic does. Silicone malleable and heat-resistant. The only problem is that silicone is expensive and you know how businesses are mostly trying to cut costs unless their aim is high quality, environmentally friendly products.

– Beeswax Packaging

A beeswax wrapping paper consists of beeswax, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and a piece of fabric like cotton for coating. The wrap can be molded around objects or used to cover containers. The plus point of beeswax packaging is that it is reusable. It is also a great alternative to plastic to help counteract environmental problems like waste and pollution. The beauty in this option is that beeswax wraps come in different colors and patterns so using it for beauty products and cosmetics is a good idea.

– Metal Packaging

Metals like Aluminum and Stainless Steel are also good options for environmentally friendly packaging because they consume less energy to recycle as compared to glass. They may be less attractive for ‘beautiful’ products but entrepreneurs have a creative and artistic aesthetic taste then their brand’s products can leverage this material.

Today, brands of all kinds are looking into innovative zero-waste ways to package their products. Some are even going to the extent of using elephant dung or mushrooms to save the planet for future generations.

– Post-Consumer Packaging

The worldwide post-consumer plastics market is projected to grow from 14.2 billion dollars in 2020 to 18.8 billion dollars by 2025, according to research. Post-consumer recycled plastic packaging is the end-product of a consumer item other than getting disposed of. These are residential and commercial plastics that have been recycled to be reused for product packaging. This is a good way to make use of something that will cause permanent damage to our world if it is simply lying around.

Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging Ideas

Here are some great ideas to design sustainable cosmetics packaging with a dash of creative inspiration.

Concrete Refillable Jars For Beauty Products

With La Crème Libre, concrete makes a debut in the world of packaging. Their idea is to sell containers made from cement, sand, and water to act as refillable for skincare and beauty capsules of exfoliators, cleansers, and makeup removers.

Compostable Card-Board Tubes For Green Beauty Products

Soué is a cruelty-free and eco-friendly Australian brand that packages its products into card-board cylindrical packs that are categorized as organic waste. They also use water-based gluing substance and veg-based ink to label the packaging.

Bamboo Shoots For Wood-Like Cosmetics Packaging

Zao Organic Makeup provides refillable packaging for beauty products like mascaras, foundation, and eye-shadow, etc. The idea is to buy a bamboo-based packaging and then keep refilling.

Zero-Waste Eyeshadow Cases That Are Recyclable

Āether Beauty makes recyclable eyeshadow palettes that protect natural habitat and prevents land and ocean pollution. The palettes are placed in aluminum pans that can be repurposed or recycled.

Reusable Glass Containers For Luxury Beauty Products

Tata Harper uses glass as a container for its products like moisturizing creams and facial oils. It is easier and more efficient to recycle glass as compared to plastic. And glass also gives a more luxurious look, which is something plastic packaging doesn’t do.

Sustainable Packaging Tips

Consider The Waste Management System

When choosing a befitting packaging material for you beauty and skincare products, consider the waste management process of the country. Cosmetic company owners need to decide whether they want their products’ packaging to be put in recyclable items or end up in landfills.

Many developing nations lack such an infrastructure, thus it becomes highly difficult for them to dispose of unsustainable packaging. Take the example of Bali. It thrives on tourism but inviting visitors to the island has done great harm to nature. During the pandemic, the citizens realized that rivers are filled with non-degradable items.

Sustainable Packaging Isn’t Always Cheap

One of the major downsides of sustainable packaging is that it can get expensive, and when a brand is producing millions of products a day, it isn’t considered an economical option unless you receive a discount offer. To produce some of the eco-friendly cosmetics packaging, advanced machinery and gadgets are needed. However, if you use earth-friendly packaging materials, you can charge a premium price because this one aspect of your production can become your brand’s unique selling proposition.

Find A Sustainable Packaging Supplier

Finding the right supplier for packaging material and printing product labels is always an expedition for cosmetics small businesses and startups. With sustainable packaging, you need a reliable supplier with an authority over how it all works, especially for cosmetic products. As an eco-friendly cosmetics brand, you want to get a supplier who offers renewable packaging materials that are either biodegradable, compostable or recycled. Other things to consider include protection and durability, reusability and safety, size and weight, and cost.

Invite People To Sustainability

Communities are increasingly becoming aware of the importance and benefits of sustainability. Brands leveraging eco-friendliness should invite others to reduce their contribution to carbon foot printing. Promote and incentivize this idea (or cause) among employees and potential customers.

And while you find the right packaging for your products, make sure to brand your visual identity that fits the vision you are aiming for.