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Innovative Sustainable Packaging Ideas You’ll Want to Steal

“The beauty industry generated over 142 billion units of packaging in 2018 – most of which ended up in landfill or the ocean” The Independent.

Here we share some great ideas for brands rethinking their image and packaging legacy.

Sustainability Beauty Trends

Environmental arguments aside, there are strong business reasons why brands need to make sustainability a priority.

As our oceans drown in plastic, The Attenborough Effect is causing consumers to reject single-use plastics and non-recyclable packaging.

Product and shopping packing are about more than just safeguarding the transport of beauty products from the manufacturer to the consumer. In such a competitive market, brands whose packaging exudes luxury and the ‘wow’ factor are more likely to get noticed.

For the industry, the challenge is producing small quantities in record time and as cheaply as possible, while not forgoing luxury and sustainability.


For a long time consumers have demanded sustainable, vegan beauty products. Now the focus has shifted to packaging that is equally natural.

Here are some interesting innovations that are turning heads:

1. Lush – Digital Packaging: Lush have launched an app which will prevent the need to offer product information on packaging and advice in multiple languages. Consumers will use the app’s visual search technology to access full product information. The implication is that packaging can therefore be reduced or resized.

2. Beauty Kitchen – Return/Refill/Repeat Program: In order to tackle the single use, throw away plastic culture, Jo Chidley has launched a Return Refill Repeat Program. Packaging is made of glass or aluminium which is easier to recycle, with consumers returning empty bottles to the store to be washed and reused.

3. Tesco/P&G - Ocean Plastic: In an attempt to tackle the catastrophic amount of plastic in our oceans, Tesco are now selling 100% recyclable Head & Shoulders bottles, containing up to 25% ocean plastic.

4. PureCycle Technologies/Nestle/Milliken - PureCycle Recycling: This collaboration aims to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to ‘virgin-like’ quality using a revolutionary recycling technique. This exclusive supply partnership is committed to significantly reducing plastic waste.

5. Neopack – Wood Tube: The Neopack team produce tubes containing spruce, a renewable resource. The processed spruce comes from PEFC certified forests in the EU and the wood comes from sawdust created by German carpenters. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the packaging.

And Finally…Is it Halal?

It’s not just sustainability that’s influencing packing trends. With the increasing buying power of Muslim consumers (expected to have risen to $45 billion by 2020), brands are also keen to ensure their packaging is not haram (i.e. not prohibited under Sharia law) and that the package and product are halal.

So packaging shapes and labels that are provocative would be a big no-no.

Furthermore, in China brands cannot sell 'cruelty-free' products due to their laws to test products on animals, so different countries have diverse expectations about what should be inside the product and on the packaging.

What other packaging innovations do you think we’ll see this year?

Email us your thoughts.

Image by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash.


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