Eco Friendly Packaging

Eco-Friendly Packaging: Unlock The Beauty

In this article, I will explain eco-friendly packaging and dive deep into the benefits and the future of sustainable packaging for skincare. The beauty industry is ever-evolving, and so is the packaging. Understanding the environmental impact of packaging choices is crucial in reducing the adverse effects on our planet.

Sustainability is a hot topic because the research and reports of plastic in remote and untouched environments in Antarctica are concerning; I suppose it could be aliens… But failing that, we are all responsible for this earth and must change how we care for it, especially by minimizing the carbon footprint of our packaging choices. Eco-friendly** packaging for cosmetics is an essential part of the plan to save our waterways and oceans from more pollution.**

Saving our rivers and oceans from further pollution.eco-friendly-packaging

But how do I make the best decision that is convenient for me and great for the environment? This article will help you be more informed and look for these indicators when shopping for your favourite products. If this interests you, then read on!

Eco-friendly packaging is made from recycled materials and is biodegradable.

Why do we use eco-friendly packaging?

empty bottle on the beatch

Governments in Europe and worldwide signed up for the 2 Degrees Paris Agreement. The two-degree target is the international climate policy goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to the pre-industrialisation level. Governments must consider many environmental factors, one of which is pollution.

The fact that waste makes it into our waterways does not help achieve this goal. We need to reduce waste by using biodegradable products with eco-friendly packaging. This commitment underscores the importance of being environmentally responsible through sustainable practices.

Benefits of eco-friendly packaging for skincare

Due to the Paris Agreement, Governments worldwide are independently drafting legislation to reduce the amount of plastic the beauty industry uses. CMS Law has an up-to-date guide on the legal requirements for packaging in the German industry. Eco-friendly packaging, such as recycled materials or reusable containers, has a few benefits:

reusable containers
  • Cuts back on the cost of goods
  • Decreases garbage dumped in landfills
  • Reduces the number of disposable plastics released into the environment, emphasizing the importance of plastic-free alternatives
  • Motivating people to lead an environmentally conscientious and sustainable life

Additionally, by incorporating packaging made from recycled material, we further the environmental benefits by repurposing post-consumer waste, significantly reducing pollution and the volume of waste sent to landfills.

How does recycled packaging cut back on the cost of goods?

green dot

Germany produces 30 million tons of waste annually. A unique recycling program, the Green Dot system, has been particularly successful and has effectively reduced the amount of packaging used. It requires that manufacturers and retailers pay a fee for the “Green Dot” trademark to be placed on their products; the more packaging, the higher the charge.

Of course, if you are motivated to use less packaging for your product, then you will naturally pay less to package it in the long term. Keep an eye out for it with your next purchase! Incorporating a recycling bin into your daily routine can significantly contribute to this effort, highlighting the crucial role of consumer recycling habits in reducing packaging costs.

How has this decreased environmental impact and the amount of rubbish in our landfill?

green wastr

The Green Dot Project has decreased the use of paper, glass, and metal, leading to less garbage being recycled or delivered to landfills. Adopting compostable packaging has further helped decrease landfill waste by replacing traditional plastic packaging with materials that break down more easily, contributing to a more sustainable environment. It has contributed to a dramatic drop of roughly one million tons of waste yearly.

How do microplastics get into the environment?

forest pollutin

When people discard plastic in the trash instead of recycling it, it often winds up in a landfill. Bubble wrap, a common plastic item, can significantly contribute to environmental pollution if not properly disposed of. However, since plastic is so lightweight, it is susceptible to being carried away easily by the wind.

The plastic accumulates around drains and eventually enters rivers and the ocean. Litter discarded on the ground is also a significant source of plastic pollution. Rainwater and wind blow it into streams, rivers, and drains, all leading to the sea.

Additionally, improper waste disposal, such as illegal dumping, is a significant cause of the plastic crisis in our oceans. Many items that people use daily, such as wet wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products, and even microfibers from our clothes (released during washing), leave our house as wastewater and eventually end up in the food chain.

How does this motivate me to lead a more sustainable life?

biodegradable products

The above should explain our direct impact on our environment. Recycling household rubbish, buying biodegradable products (including clothes), and sourcing ethically made products must be the usual way of life in the future. Making these subtle changes in your life can and does impact the rest of the world.

Additionally, small businesses are crucial in promoting sustainable practices, demonstrating that environmental responsibility can coexist with profitability.

3 examples of eco-friendly alternative skincare packaging

Eco-Friendly Bamboo

Picture of a bamboo box which can hold reusable makeup remover pads.
Photo by EcoPanda on Unsplash

Bamboo packaging is an excellent choice for eco-friendly packaging, as it is lightweight, durable, 100% biodegradable and sustainable. Guinness World Records states that the world record for the fastest-growing plant belongs to certain species of the 45 bamboo genera, which grows up to 91 cm (35 in) daily!! That is nuts, but what does this mean?

Bamboo is versatile and can be used for many products; it is an excellent replacement for wood or plastic containers. It is being grown successfully on bamboo farms around Europe. Emphasizing the importance of eco-friendly operations, it's crucial to source bamboo from sustainably sourced farms to ensure the materials are eco-friendly and contribute positively to the environment.

Buying bamboo from remote places only contributes to carbon emissions, so it's better to purchase bamboo products closer to home.

Eco-Friendly Paper

eco friendly paper

Of course, paper and cardboard packaging are biodegradable and recyclable. Kraft paper is favoured for its biodegradability, compostability, and recyclability, making it a prime choice for sustainable shipping and packaging solutions. Paper packaging, especially when made from recycled paper, is an excellent choice for eco-friendly packaging, as it can be easily customized and printed with branding, significantly reducing packaging waste.

There are plenty of recycled options. We wrap all of our soaps using BIOzoyg wrapping paper. Their shop also has some gorgeous paper plates.

Eco-Friendly Glass and Tin

eco friendly glass

Finally, glass and tin are excellent choices for eco-friendly packaging. Glass packaging is durable, recyclable, and easily customised with branding. Tin products are also lightweight, recyclable, and durable. The one problem I have with glass and tin is that glass bottles usually need a plastic lid, and tin usually needs stickers that sometimes have plastic.

However, there have been technological enhancements recently in biodegradable polymers. This is truly exciting for the business, and I’ll talk more about it in the next section. Additionally, using postal boxes made from 100% recycled material complements these eco-friendly packaging options, as they are 100% recyclable and available in various sizes to accommodate different products, further supporting our commitment to environmentally responsible packaging solutions.

The future of sustainable packaging for skincare

Plastic straws breaking down to microplastics
Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

Microplastics have been found deep in our oceans, affecting marine wildlife and our planet. In response, the ongoing search for new materials is crucial as companies innovate and transition to materials that break down naturally, without compromising on performance and quality, to address the issue of biodegradability. With governments due to miss the 2-degree Climate target, they are changing tactics. Companies have to get more innovative by using less “single-use” packaging.

There are alternatives to plastic, and according to Science Direct, these degradable plastics can be divided into four groups: compostable plastics, photodegradable plastics, bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics. I’ll have to create another blog post for that.

PLA can replace plastic

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a type of plastic derived from renewable, organic sources such as corn starch, Potato starch, or sugar cane. It represents an eco-friendly solution to the problem of plastic waste. My husband is an engineer and loves making things with his two 3D printers, like soap dishes.

However, most 3D printers melt plastic to make another form. However, we have found an innovative company which binds PLA (biodegradable plastic made from corn starch or sugars) and wood to make a filament (something you print with), emphasizing PLA as an innovative approach to reducing plastic waste through an eco-friendly solution. This means we are now printing our soap dishes in fully biodegradable wood.

PHA can replace plastic

Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a type of plastic that some bacteria can make. They store this plastic inside their cells to use it later for energy. It is like a tiny granule inside the cell. This PHA is the closest to replicating plastic, a petroleum single-use product. Think about that. Plastic that our parents and grandparents threw away is still in a landfill! The potential of PHA in creating sustainable packaging materials offers a promising solution to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact, aligning with eco-friendly packaging materials.

In a nutshell

The solutions are there. We can create fully biodegradable packaging, and I can see some brilliant companies starting to venture into this area. Recognising the need for sustainable alternatives to plastic bags is crucial in our journey towards eco-friendly packaging solutions. But we, as consumers, must demand more from the companies and products we love to make a difference.

In 2008, the world made 245 million tons of plastic and 390.7 million tons in 2021. Scientists think this amount will triple by 2050, using up one-fifth of all the oil in the world. Until now, It has been perfectly acceptable to add plastic fillers to cosmetics and put them onto your skin.

But with the world set to miss its climate target in the Paris Agreement and increase pollution and the destruction of species, it is our responsibility to the stewardship of this planet, so we must change our shopping habits. If you want sustainable eco-bathroom products, visit my shop for some great options or sign up for my newsletter for more great articles like this.

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