Cosmetics turn green

Behind the glittering glare of make-up and colourful bottles lies an ugly truth.

Packaging: the real polluter

Every year, an average of 120 billion packaging units dedicated to cosmetics are produced in the world– most of it is not recyclable. The ever-growing and profitable (19 bn pounds in yearly sales) beauty industry has it's drawbacks. The pollution induced by the superfluous swathes of cellophane, cardboard, tissue paper and boxes that contain most products is not a fatality however.

Circular beauty as an answer

Sustainability is the new trend and beauty brands are slowly but surly trying to reduce the pollution induced by their products. “Circular beauty” with products based on food waste, zero-packaging soaps and conditioners and reusable bottles are some of the aspects of the efforts made by professionals to meet their consumers' desire for eco-conscious beauty products. In fact, the Netherlands-based group LCA Centre found that if refillable containers were used for cosmetics, as much as 70% of carbon emissions associated with the beauty industry could be eliminated.

A growing demand for sustainability

“Consumers are showing a great interest and need for a more sustainable lifestyle, and this also means ensuring their beauty products are fitting into this emerging category,” explained Rochelle Jacobs, Managing Director of Naturally Serious, a brand that has made the production of eco-friendly products and packaging its priority.

How fast will the beauty industry as a whole adapt and rise to the challenge of worldwide pollution that it had a noticeable influence on causing? At any rate, solutions to limit our outright eliminate non-recyclable packagings exist and brands will want to hop on to the sustainability train in order to keep their market shares.

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