Home Lifestyle Refill beauty – how the packaging industry is encouraging refills over plastic
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Refill beauty – how the packaging industry is encouraging refills over plastic

By Sam Frankel, Sales Director at Polypouch UK (www.polypouch.co.uk)

by uma
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Within the packaging industry, ‘green’ is fast becoming a sought-after status, which is why choosing raw materials from sustainable sources, making products widely recyclable and compostable, and looking at energy consumption within the manufacturing process is key – and that’s just scratching the surface on what we can do to make the process even more sustainable. What is key, is making the stakeholders go green too. Let’s face it the days of fancy packaging leading to a consumer purchasing a product in the beauty industry is limited. Yes, packaging definitely adds value to the consumers decision on whether or not to buy a product, but thankfully those deliverables are changing, and the packaging industry should be doing everything in its power to commend those moving decision makers. 

 

What’s changing in the industry?

Sustainable and refillable packaging is the driving force changing the beauty industry for the better. 

Consumers are now demanding packaging that is eco-friendly and more importantly, can be refilled rather than rebought.

We’re seeing more options introduced from key players in the beauty industry, from face creams to hair and bodywash, and what’s more, it’s cheaper for the consumer. Gone are the days of having to repurchase the whole product every time you run out, now you can have a back-up in a refillable pot, or even better, a recyclable pouch… and its ready to open and refill the moment you run out. We’re seeing it with L’Occitane, Love Ocean, Method and Carex to name but just a few. 

More importantly, this sustainable movement is going to savetonnes of product packaging going to landfill, and as the Plastics Tax comes to fruition in April 2022, its imperative to start making these eco-friendly moves now, as in the long run it’s the big businesses in the beauty industry that will pay the price for their outdated marketing tactics.

 

For those companies worried about profit margins, it’s important to think about the concept in an alternative way. Can you create beautifully curated glass jars and pots (that are also sustainable!) for those who love to have their products on show, with the caveat that the jar is actually a symbol of sustainability too. Think about your marketing offers – can the consumer buy these items along with a refill option, to make the profits up?Therefore each month they simply top up the jar with the refill, helping to maintain brand loyalty and ensuring minimum, if any, waste. 

 

What’s really important is that the beauty industry asks itself these questions:

 

  • Can we package this product differently using an alternative more eco-friendly material?
  • Can we change the existing packaging for something that can be recycled, refilled or composted?
  • Can we reduce the energy required to create the product’s packaging?

 

The answer is always yes. Yes you can! 

 

A look to the future

Making the move to refillable beauty products is certainly a step forward for a moresustainable beauty industry, however it isn’t a catch all solution, which is another way that the packaging industry can step back in and look deeper into the possibilities. We are already seeing brands making headway in the refillable make-up space, but what we’re yet to see is if the consumer doesn’t want to repurchasethe refillable option, is the packaging still able to berecycledin someway instead?

 

When the beauty industry as a whole decides to collectively face these issues, the consumer will support them. 

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