Submitted by: Matthew Robson October 26, 2020
Product packaging around the world is currently going through a huge transformation, with companies keen to move from single-use plastics to more sustainable solutions. Whether it’s food, drink, beauty or personal hygiene, plastic is slowly giving way to paper, with new innovations and designs creating packaging that’s practical as well as functional. Find out which brands are leading the way.
Cheers to paper
Following Carling’s ‘Green Fibre Bottle’, the world’s first beer bottles made of paper, a number of other alcohol brands have been experimenting with swapping glass, plastic and metal with wood fibre and pulp. First it was premium whisky brand Johnnie Walker with its plans to roll out paper bottles early next year, and now Absolut are trialing a few thousand paper vodka bottles in the UK and Sweden. While the need for an effective barrier material means these bottles aren’t completely plastic-free, they are made from recycled materials and fully recyclable.
Smells like green spirit
Thanks to its high plastic content and mix of materials, deodorant packaging is notoriously difficult to recycle, but a number of companies are moving towards paper packaging, cutting down on a huge amount of plastic waste. One of the largest, Proctor & Gamble Beauty, have been leading the way by using all-paper, plastic-free packaging for two of their deodorant brands – Old Spice and Secret. “If we convert just 10% of our current deodorant packages to recycled paper or another recyclable material, it could eliminate up to 1.5 million pounds of plastic waste annually,” says Anitra Marsh, Associate Director of Global Sustainability and Brand Communications at P&G Beauty
Because you’re worth it
With more than 120 billion units of packaging produced every year, the cosmetics industry has recently come under the spotlight for its waste, and companies are also starting to recognise the sustainability benefits of paper packaging. French beauty giant L’Oreal has announced the launch of its La Roche-Posay sunscreen in a cardboard tube – a global first – which cuts the amount of plastic used by 45%. This is one in a long line of L’Oreal products about to be packaged using cardboard, but it’s not just the global businesses that are swapping plastic for paper. Korean company Innisfree has launched a series of products packaged in paper, including its popular Green Tea See Serum (one sold every seven seconds), while Kiehl is set to adopt an eco-friendly cardboard packaging solution in 2021.
Brush up on your sustainability
Toothpaste tubes are among the most difficult packaging to recycle since they are made from a mix of plastic and aluminium that’s impossible to separate. With global consumers getting through over 20 billion tubes every year, that’s a lot of packaging going into landfill. Colgate have made steps in the right direction with the launch of a toothpaste packaged in a recyclable plastic tube, but a team of Brazilian academics have seemingly cracked the problem of creating a cardboard tube for toothpaste. Made using a durable cardboard material that’s both sustainable and biodegradable, the ‘Coolpaste’ tube won a Silver award for Most Practical Impact in the prestigious 2020 BeyondPlastic Awards.
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