Didn't anticipate that one of the first blogs I will write for Beauprty (Beau-per-ty) will be on sustainable packaging. There are so many other exciting stories starting with our choice of the brand name, our plant-based, science-backed products designed specifically for gen z , how we are aiming to de-stigmatize taboos especially related to intimate hygiene, and many more.
It's the gen z that have forced us to adopt this feature even if it meant incurring 4X cost compared to plastic packaging. It was very apparent during our focus group discussions with gen z as to how passionate they are about this cause. The younger generations are willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to sustainable living. Sustainable packaging design and development has been a fulfilling journey and we have learned so much on the way. From biodegradable bottles made of sugarcane molasses in Brazil to paper bottles being developed in India. Apart from rampant greenwashing on ingredients, I believe this is the second 'grey' area as to how some brands are claiming to be sustainable but little scratching on the surfaces exposes the reality. Yes, we are not yet 100% recyclable as we have components like caps, pumps which are still plastic but we are working on the same.
Following is what we have learned over months of research and in fact, delaying our launch by months to achieve the level of sustainability we have that we can proudly claim to be the most sustainable brand in this space.
We intend to share our learnings as we don't look at this as a strategic competitive differentiator but more companies adopting the same will not only be better for the planet but also the relevant packaging industry and overall ecosystem. It may help to further innovate, scale, and probably lower the costs as well.
Sustainable by Design
We believe that safety, great design, and pleasure can coexist in harmony with sustainability. We achieve this by making more sustainable choices where possible without compromising product design and experience. We also did a ‘light’ Cradle-to-Grave assessment and found that reimagining Packaging is the biggest component where we need to focus for us to be sustainable.
We did extensive research, trial and error in Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, recycled: different features of sustainable packaging. We chose Innovative Recyclability And Reusability as the most appropriate solution. Most of our packaging is in aluminum and glass cosmetic containers as the material is recyclable.
Aluminum and glass are infinitely recyclable: it is estimated that 75% of the aluminum produced in the world so far is still in use today, in contrast, only 9% of plastic is recyclable. Glass is sustainable from its origin to its demise. As a resource efficient material, glass is composed of only natural resources. From abundant natural raw materials, such as sand, creating glass does not require disturbing the natural environment or causing negative feedback. Because of its fully recyclable quality, glass is a sustainable choice that is able to close the consumption loop.
Conscious Consumption and Smart Refill
Our going-in approach is to encourage “conscious consumption” with our audience. We encourage our customers to be more mindful of how they consume as well as think about a more circular approach to buying Our smart refill system which we will be introducing in coming months reduces the overall requirement of any type of recyclable material since our packaging is reusable and guess what – our refill packaging are also recyclable.
Going Green with Aluminum and Glass
One of the best benefits of using aluminum cosmetic containers is that the material is recyclable. For companies that are interested in taking steps toward going green, this is one way to get started. Environmentally mindful consumers will be happy to see less plastic on the shelves. Choosing aluminum can be a great way to market a product as being better for the environment. We are facing issues wherein the aluminum packaging products lead to some damages and dents while shipping and working overtime to minimize the same and in parallel educating our customers as well.
Benefits Over Plastic
Plastic takes over 500 years to decompose in landfills, a much longer time than glass. Of all the types of plastic packaging, our recycling system can only process less than 10%. Most plastics can only be recycled one to two times maximum, which is a stark contrast to glass packaging.Ultimately, all plastic will eventually end up in a landfill despite our best efforts. So all the brands claiming green sustainable packaging with recycled plastic should ensure that they build a channel to recycle their respective packaging or else its mere lip service to the cause.
Some cosmetic companies are noticing the benefits of using aluminum cosmetic containers over plastic for their products. First, aluminum allows for the packing of a product to be much more lightweight. Many consumers prefer this lightweight design over plastic bottles. Aluminum also allows for a more modern design than plastic. There is a good deal of customization that can be done to the packaging, but the metal itself also creates a contemporary look. It is also worth mentioning that aluminum packaging also increases the life of a product. The lining needed to make aluminum a safe and effective option for products also protects the product from outside elements which allows it to last longer inside of the container.
Not only is glass a stronger substance, but glass packaging maintains the product’s intended form for longer periods, protecting both the packaged product and the end user.
Choosing aluminum gives the cosmetic company the option of eliminating a step in the design process. Aluminum containers allow for in-line printing. This means that logos, designs, and information can be printed directly onto the bottle and additional labels will be unnecessary. This will save a step in the process and will create less waste. Again, companies can use this as a way to market their product as being more environmentally friendly. It can also improve the look of the product. Glass is heavier and more fragile to transport than other packaging materials. The added transportation costs go against the sustainability of glass. But, it lasts longer and keeps the product in usable condition longer. Therefore, the costs can be broken up over the lifetime of the glass packaging making it comparable to the alternatives
Constant studies are being done to determine the presence of different elements in cosmetic products. Aluminum has been one of those elements. There was some concern about the material leeching into cosmetic products and making them dangerous for use. However, choosing the right containers and following safety guidelines make aluminum an acceptable material for cosmetic packaging. If aluminum is chosen for a product, there should be information available to the consumer about the safety guidelines and precedes that were used to manufacture the container.
Improper or extreme storage conditions can accelerate plastic’s chemical leaching, which can be harmful to both products and consumers. Glass does not leach chemicals and is a healthier alternative.