In 2019, Forbes reported that the global beauty industry produces 120 billion units of packaging annually, making it one of the top contributors to plastic waste. Increasingly, more brands are taking note and introducing sustainable or refillable packaging and recycling initiatives – in a bid to reach zero waste.
Zero waste is loosely defined as waste prevention, or the efficient use of resources, with the common aim to reduce or eliminate trash sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean. From consumer goods companies to luxury labels, brands are doing their part. Global players Aesop, Kiehl’s and The Body Shop, as well as local skincare brand Re:erth, offer recycling programmes that incentivise shoppers to recycle their empties.
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Earlier this year, The Body Shop put in place a permanent refill system at some stores, encouraging customers to swop out plastic for aluminium bottles. On the packaging front, many are revamping with zero waste in
mind. Lush, Hermes, Dior and Sisley are just some of the big names which have introduced refillable lipsticks, with bullets that twist out so the container can be reused with refills.
This year, French skincare company Caudalie debuted a range of cleansers packaged in bottles made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, kick-starting an overhaul of all its packaging. For Christmas, it launched fully recyclable gift sets packaged with zero per cent virgin plastic, 100 per cent Forest Stewardship Council paper from sustainably managed forests, and plant-based inks.
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Similarly, since last year, homegrown est.lab began a progressive change of all its products’ outer box packaging – to be made from tree-free paper sourced from sugarcane waste. They are also recyclable, 100 per cent biodegradable and fully compostable.
Ahead, a lowdown on beauty brands with eco-friendly packaging and refillables.