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Cosmetics packaging needs to respond to increasing consumer awareness of sustainability: CPhI Webinar panel

Gareth Carpenter — 3 Aug 2021

The cosmetics packaging sector will need to respond to increasing consumer awareness of climate change by transitioning from fossil-based materials to long-term carbon neutral and carbon negative alternatives, according to industry experts speaking at a recent CPhI webinar.

During the webinar Trends in Packaging Cosmetics which was broadcast in partnership with BEAUTYSTREAMS and Euromonitor International, panellists identified several trends driving consumer behaviour in the beauty segment.

Michael Nolte, Creative Director, BEAUTYSTREAMS said technology, climate emergencies and the need for human connections will lead trends in the following years: “While these are not new trends, they have been really accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis.”

Providing the statistic that over 10 million people have become climate refugees in the past year, Nolte said the consequences of non-sustainable lifestyles “are so visible today that consumers do expect and will expect more that radical actions are taken by brands and corporations to save our environment before it is too late.”

Nolte added that packaging is on the radar of many consumers as it demands polluting materials and cited a survey by BEAUTYSTREAMS’ non-profit arm, the Open Streams Foundation, in which 55% of respondents across Europe, the Americas and Asia said they believed immediate sustainability priorities are through reducing packaging and using sustainable materials.

“This leads to a need to find long-term alternatives to plastics - recycling is great but we see this only as a transition until carbon neutral or even better carbon negative alternatives are available at large scale,” Nolte said.

Mylan Nguyen, Senior Analyst, Euromonitor International told the webinar audience that sustainability is shifting so that purpose is now a key part of corporate strategies.

She said that in a Euromonitor survey, over a quarter of respondents said they boycotted brands that do not share their social and political beliefs.

“Increasingly consumers are feeling the need to step up to protect society and the planet. Sustainable sourcing will be an important criteria as consumers are demanding more transparency on how and where companies source and manufacture their products.

“There is enough room to keep packaging attractive but it’s a new more circular ‘attractive’,” said Ralf Mack, Group Innovation Director, AR Packaging. “On finishing effect, we see in the beauty industry, when we talk about metallic decoration, this is still done using a metallised PET or polyester OPP furl which is then overprinted. These materials from our experience will disappear in the future because of their sustainable footprint which has some deficiencies.”

He said alternatives were already at hand in the industry such as plastic-free metallic effects that “have a proven track record when it comes to re-pulping, sorting and collecting.”

To watch the full webinar for free, click here.


#sustainablepackaging #cosmetics

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