Sustainable packaging refers to packaging with a lower environmental impact than conventional packaging. It may sound simple. After all, sustainability can include the effect of a package throughout its life cycle, from resource extraction, manufacture, and use (and reuse) to recycling or disposal like eco friendly cosmetic packaging
Sustainability can also include economic and social factors. Even if a package is environmentally friendly, it may still be unprofitable for the company, i.e., used in an unsustainable way. What’s more, some eco-friendly packaging can have a social impact, for example, by diverting land previously used to grow food or clearing swathes of rainforest to produce raw materials for bioplastics.
Why is biodegradable packaging a problem?
Some “sustainable” packaging also lacks recycling or composting infrastructure. Even if cosmetics or other products are in biodegradable or recyclable containers, they may not be compostable at home, may not be accepted by your local recycling center, or your local government doesn’t have a composting facility. In this case, even the most environmentally friendly packaging could end up in landfills.
Unique and custom fonts
Typography is a great way to express your brand, and handwritten fonts can set you apart from the crowd. The bold font trend in graphic design naturally applies to packaging as well. A unique font can bring a personal touch to your packaging. Whether it’s a retro font, a bold statement, or a quirky style, a special font will stay in people’s minds no matter what.
Start with an FSC certified outer box.
It is a small step, but using FSC certified paper or cardboard for product packaging is a step in the right direction. Since most beauty products are packaged in outer packaging (usually some cardboard) and often accompanied by paper leaflets, brands can first ensure that the paper and paper are FSC or PEFC certified suppliers. Both certifications emphasize best sourcing practices and support responsible forest management.
Always consider the lifecycle of your packaging.
Reviewing the recyclability and material composition is an easy first step to reducing your product’s environmental footprint. However, it is essential to note that there is no clear winner in these decisions. When it comes to recyclability, local infrastructure and consumer behavior are significant barriers. Only 50% of people recycle bathroom waste in the UK, such as shampoo and conditioner, but 90% of food waste is recycled. They are also increasing the manufacturing of recyclable custom packaging boxes for cosmetics.
Types of Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Packaging that contributes to the environment also falls into this category. From laser-printed labels to processing food into bioplastics for packaging, anything that helps keep the planet healthy and safe falls under the umbrella of eco-friendly packaging. These materials are unconventional, challenging, and sometimes expensive, but they are the best option.
This organic packaging material has taken the environmental protection industry by storm in recent years due to its good properties, similar to plastic. However, overuse of this material can impact the global food supply chain. That’s why it’s called PLA packaging, which is an acronym for polylactic acid.
Packaging made of seaweed
Companies can play an essential role in reducing global waste by using seaweed in packaging products. Seaweed is edible, biodegradable, and soluble in water, making it suitable for food packaging. Seaweed is ideal for disposable masks, gels, or liquid cosmetics.
Bamboo is a disposable packaging material made from the bamboo plant. There are 1000 different bamboo species in Asia alone, and bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants. Bamboo is renewable, requires no irrigation or pesticides, and contains no chemicals. A bamboo base is suitable for lightweight packaging, but natural bamboo grass is used for more durable printed packaging boxes. Compared to plastic and paper, bamboo is more environmentally friendly.
Silicon is made from sand and is not biodegradable, but it can be recycled. Silicon has plasticity and high-temperature resistance. It doesn’t release harmful chemicals into the water, or soil-like plastic does. However, silicone is expensive, and unless you’re aiming for a high-quality eco-friendly product, companies may try to keep costs down.
Priore noted that the cosmetic market needs packaging that protects formulations from potential contamination risks to ensure better consumer protection. In this case, “for customers who are wary of purchasing products with green beauty benefits, we are now seeing a new approach.”