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Why it is difficult to recycle cosmetic packaging?(1)

Views: 4     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-05-06      Origin: Site Inquire

How many packaging do you have for your bath products? Certainly not less, because the beauty industry produces 153 billion pieces of plastic packaging each year. However, most packaging is still difficult to recycle, or even completely impossible to recycle.

“Many beauty packaging designs do not consider the recycling process,” Sara Wingstrand, project manager of the “New Plastic Economy” of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, told Vogue. “Some packaging materials do not have corresponding recycling facilities, so they can only be sent Go to the landfill."


Large beauty brands promise to solve the plastic problem in the industry. L'Oréal guarantees the use of recyclable or bio-based packaging across the board by 2030. Unilever, Coty and Beiersdorf have set similar goals to switch to recycled plastic packaging by 2025 and ensure that the packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable. At the same time, Estee Lauder promised to make more than 75% of the product packaging recyclable, replenishable, reusable, and implement a recycling plan by the end of 2025.


However, progress is still not fast enough. The petroleum-based plastics produced so far have reached 8.3 billion tons, of which 60% has flowed into landfills or the natural environment. Wingstrand said: "If we can pursue higher plastic reduction targets and increase reuse and recycling rates, we are expected to make substantial progress and the prospects will be significantly improved.

Difficult recovery

Currently, only 14% of plastic packaging worldwide is recycled-only 5% of the materials are reused because of the waste caused by the sorting and recycling process. Recycling of beauty packaging is usually more difficult. Wingstrand explains: “Many packaging is made of mixed materials, so it is difficult to recycle.” Pump heads are a common example, usually made of plastic and aluminum springs. "Some packages are too small to extract useful materials."

Arnaud Meysselle, executive director of REN Clean Skincare, pointed out that beauty companies have difficulty finding a suitable solution because recycling facilities vary greatly around the world. "Unfortunately, even if the packaging can be fully recycled, at best it is only 50% likely to be recycled," he mentioned in a Zoom interview with us in London. Therefore, the brand's focus has shifted from recyclable packaging to recycled plastic packaging. "At least not to make virgin plastic."


Having said that, REN Clean Skincare became the first skin care brand to apply Infinity Recycling technology to its signature product Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, which means that the packaging can be repeatedly regenerated by heating and pressing. "This plastic contains 95% recycled materials, and its specifications and characteristics are no different from virgin plastics," Meysselle explained. "The key is that it can be recycled indefinitely." Currently, most plastics can only be recycled once or twice.


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