e-book: Cosmetics Packaging

Sustainable cosmetics packaging is complex. Gaynor Denton-Bray and Simon Furness explore the challenges and opportunities that cosmetics brands face in delivering improved packaging sustainability.

Delivering packaging sustainability across the cosmetics arena is certainly challenging, due to the level of complexity from both a product and packaging perspective. Many cosmetic products are sold in multi-functional packaging to allow ease of application for the consumer or to offer additional benefits / convenience during use, whilst still performing the traditional functions of packaging. As a result, the industry is rife with single-use packaging formats which often end up in landfill regardless of whether they are recyclable or not, which in part comes down to consumer behaviours. 

These factors, coupled with the competitive nature of a trend-led industry and frequency of NPD and EPR, leads to many of the leading actors selecting often lavish and sometimes excessive packaging to promote their high-end products and deliver a luxurious aesthetic appeal. This approach provides excellent shelf-stand-out, delivering strong brand identity to drive market share and consumer loyalty. 

This e-book explores the challenges and opportunities cosmetic brands, both leading brand and discounters, face in delivering improved packaging sustainability.  

We have focussed on their specific challenges which include the impact of legislation and the innovative approaches some are making. Our analysis has been across major brands as well as small to medium sized actors in the market, highlighting examples of the progress being made. Many believe that material selection is the only way to be sustainable however packaging design has a huge effect and can help in the drive to create a circular economy and improved sustainability.   

In order to achieve the Paris Agreement, improve sustainability and protect our planet, there is a need to change, now.  Without doubt, this is not an easy task and to achieve success requires all elements of packaging selection and design, as well as production and supply chain impacts, to be taken into consideration. 

Gaynor Denton-Bray, Aura