Can cosmetic packaging ever be perfect?

07/01/2021 —  By Hannah Mepham

Can cosmetic packaging ever be perfect?

We’re committed to reducing our reliance on plastic packaging and we know that many of our customers want to know what we are doing to achieve this.

We want to be as transparent as we can about our packaging choices. In this post you will discover exactly why we use the packaging we do and why we favour some packaging types over others.

 

Can packaging ever be perfect?

Few cosmetic packaging options are perfect and the process to improving our packaging was never going to happen overnight, but we pledged to you that we’d reduce our reliance on plastic packaging and we’ve stayed true to our word.

The past few years have seen us switch to an eco-friendlier sugar cane packaging, introduce more glass options and even saw us produce the UK’s first biodegradable beauty pot for our waterless products, such as One Balm.

 

Considerations for eco-friendly packaging

Finding these eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging hasn’t been easy and when looking for new options we take into consideration the following factors:

  • The environmental impact of producing the packaging materials
  • The environmental impact of shipping the packaging from our door to yours
  • The ease and environmental impact of disposing of the packaging
  • How secure the product is inside the packaging
  • The packaging’s ease of use
  • The contamination risk of the packaging / the packaging’s reliance on preservatives
  • How we feature the information we are legally required to include with the product in the most eco-friendly way
  • The cost of the material and how this impacts the overall price of our products
  • The longevity of the packaging and its ease of storage

The packaging materials we don’t use

Some packaging choices are simply not viable options to us. In this section, you will find out which packaging materials we avoid using and why we choose not to use them.

METAL: Aluminium pots and squeezy tubes look great but their safety profile and environmental impact means they just don’t fit with our brand values.

This packaging material is difficult to recycle, requires a huge amount of energy to produce and requires excess packaging to keep it safe during transport. There’s also a risk of contamination associated with using aluminium packaging and, so that we can pack our products with more goodness and fewer preservatives, we choose not to use metal packaging.

OCEAN PLASTIC:

We have three main concerns around the contamination risks associated with ocean plastic:

  • Ocean plastic may contain traces of its original contents
  • Ocean plastic may be contaminated by other ocean debris
  • Ocean plastic may be contaminated by compounds in encounters during the repurposing process.

Plastic is a highly absorbent material and as any risk of cross contamination can affect the safety of our products, we have always ruled this packaging material out. You can find out more about why we do not use ocean plastic here.

 

The packaging materials we do use

All our packaging materials are assessed as part of the processes we go through when seeking organic certification for our products. This is a costly, timely process but is something we choose to do so that our customers can trust that when making our products, we are using the most eco-friendly materials available to us. Packaging materials that we presently use include:

GLASS: A lot of our customers prefer to purchase our glass packaged products because they are very recyclable and look very smart.

We love the luxurious look of our glass packaging and how easy it is to recycle but because it requires a lot of energy to produce and ship, we don’t use it for everything.

We also have to consider the safety implications for our glass packaging. Additional packaging materials are needed to keep it safe in transport and because glass isn’t as effective as plastic when it comes to keeping bacteria out, plastic shives are needed in our glass jars. This passes an additional cost and recycling burden onto our customer so we keep our use of glass packaging to a minimum.

WOOD: Wood obtained from properly managed sources such as those overseen by the FSC is very sustainable, but we choose not to use wood as a primary packaging type as it is not particularly effective at keeping our water-based products safe from damage from oxygen and moisture. If we were to use this material, we’d need to fit it with a protective glass or plastic liner which would increase our use of packaging materials unnecessarily.

We do use wood in our One Balm pot which is made using sawdust that is produced as a by-product from the wood-felling industry. Repurposing this material is zero waste and allows us to make our packaging biodegradable.

Presently this packaging material’s use is limited to waterless products such as balms. After use it biodegrades leaving no microplastic residue behind. We have a lot of faith in this material’s future and are hoping that innovations will mean that it will soon be suitable for us to use it for a wider range of products.

PLANT PRODUCTS: The question we are asked most is why we use plastic packaging chips. The answer is, we don’t! Our packaging chips are made from corn-starch. They look exactly the same as their plastic counterparts but they dissolve in water instead of filling up your recycling bin.

PLASTIC: Plastic is our most used form of packaging. Most of our squeezy tubes contain this material and wherever possible we use sugar cane plastic to make these.

Plastic is so heavily used by cosmetic companies because it is an all-round effective material and, if it didn’t take so long to break down, it would have a great environmental profile. This is because it requires little energy to make, is lightweight to ship and its sturdiness ability to protect against spoilage means it requires no additional packaging and allows us to keep preservative use to a minimum.

We’re excited to see innovations in greener plastic options, and we continue to look into this so that we can deliver our products to you in a safe, energy-efficient and eco-friendly way.

 

We hope that this answered your packaging concerns. Should you have any more questions about our packaging our customer care team can be contacted at organic@greenpeople.co.uk or on 01403 740350.

Share

ABOUT GREEN PEOPLE

Green People is a pioneering organic beauty brand based in the UK and loved by people all over the world.

We create pure, eco-friendly products with innovative botanicals that really make a difference to your skin and hair.

You can read our story to find out more about us or even check out our special offers to take a peek at what's on offer right now.

Related Articles

Meet our zero-waste organic beauty balm

09/11/2020 - By Hannah Mepham

Meet our zero-waste organic beauty balm

We’re big fans of beauty balms at Green People and believe that these versatile skin care staples should have a spot in every skin care routine. Here we proudly introduce One Balm. our latest beauty balm innovation and reveal why we think it is our best multi-purpose balm yet!

Continue Reading

How do you recycle Green People packaging?

12/05/2020 - By Hannah Mepham

How do you recycle Green People packaging?

Curious to know how eco-conscious our packaging is? Here we look at the different types of packaging materials we use and explain how you can recycle our products and packaging after use.

Continue Reading

Why doesn't Green People use recycled ocean-plastic packaging?

14/05/2020 - By Alexandra Julian

Why doesn't Green People use recycled ocean-plastic packaging?

As an eco-conscious company, our packaging has always been readily recyclable and over the years we have invested a lot of time improving our packaging while maintaining the quality of our products. Here we explain why we chose our packaging over other eco-alternatives.

Continue Reading

ABOUT GREEN PEOPLE

Green People is a pioneering organic beauty brand based in the UK and loved by people all over the world.

We create pure, eco-friendly products with innovative botanicals that really make a difference to your skin and hair.

You can read our story to find out more about us or even check out our special offers to take a peek at what's on offer right now.

Related Articles

Meet our zero-waste organic beauty balm

09/11/2020 - By Hannah Mepham

Meet our zero-waste organic beauty balm

We’re big fans of beauty balms at Green People and believe that these versatile skin care staples should have a spot in every skin care routine. Here we proudly introduce One Balm. our latest beauty balm innovation and reveal why we think it is our best multi-purpose balm yet!

Continue Reading

How do you recycle Green People packaging?

12/05/2020 - By Hannah Mepham

How do you recycle Green People packaging?

Curious to know how eco-conscious our packaging is? Here we look at the different types of packaging materials we use and explain how you can recycle our products and packaging after use.

Continue Reading

Why doesn't Green People use recycled ocean-plastic packaging?

14/05/2020 - By Alexandra Julian

Why doesn't Green People use recycled ocean-plastic packaging?

As an eco-conscious company, our packaging has always been readily recyclable and over the years we have invested a lot of time improving our packaging while maintaining the quality of our products. Here we explain why we chose our packaging over other eco-alternatives.

Continue Reading