Jun 9, 2022
Beauty shoppers are clamouring for green packaging and sustainable beauty. The industry is coming out with innovative packaging made from recycled plastics that themselves can be recycled. So isn’t this a positive landscape and a happier space for the beauty industry to be in than a few years ago? If only sustainable beauty packaging were so simple.
In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO, Chartered Environmentalist and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier praises the strides the beauty industry is making on sustainable packaging, but also unearths the truth about how much is recycled. Consumers still know little about what our beauty packaging is made of and where it ends up in its afterlife.
In this opinion short, Lorraine explains that while we are becoming familiar with acronyms for plastics, like post-consumer recycled PET plastics, and are better at deciphering recycling symbols, the reality is that very little plastic waste is recycled. Plastics are still shipped from rich countries across the world to be dumped in open landfills. Ultimately, much ends up polluting the oceans.
Innovative packaging solutions are well and good, but are let down by a recycling infrastructure that can’t close the loop and sustain a circular economy.
Lorraine’s challenge to all of us engaged in beauty, whether as shoppers or industry insiders, is to start having more conversations about the environmental harm of beauty packaging.
Whether indie founder or mainstream big beauty business, we need to tell our customers just what our packaging is made of and how to recycle it. Make our customers lives easier by making videos on how to recycle that airless pump bottle, for example. As shoppers, we must be prepared to ask beauty brands how to recycle and reuse their packaging, whatever it is made of, and pile the pressure on them to respond with clarity.
While R&D is coming up with the next closed-loop, circular economy packaging, we can start having an immediate impact by simply having conversations and educating each other. And remembering that because innovative sustainable packaging can be recycled, it doesn’t mean it will be.