Eco-Conscious Packaging: A Game-Changer in Cosmetics

Your customer cares about whether or not you use eco-conscious packaging in your cosmetics and skin care manufacturing.

November 29, 2023


Research has shown that 54% of consumers think sustainability is a key factor when buying beauty, hair and skin care products. More than half (56%) believe that it’s important to look for products with recyclable packaging. 

Eco-conscious packaging isn’t just good for business either, it’s good for the world around us, and for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about eco-conscious cosmetics packaging and how it’s a total game changer.

What is eco-conscious packaging?

Eco-conscious packaging means using environmentally, socially responsible and sustainable materials and practices when it comes to designing, manufacturing and disposing of your brand’s packaging.

Around the world around 120 billion units of beauty and personal care packaging are produced each year, and 95% of all cosmetics packaging gets thrown away. That’s a lot of waste and a lot of landfill, as a large amount isn’t recyclable or made sustainably.

Eco-conscious cosmetics packaging offsets some of this waste, to create packaging that’s made from recycled materials or that can actually be recycled after it’s no longer needed. Let’s take a closer look at some eco-conscious ideas for beauty packaging.

How to make your cosmetics packaging more sustainable

There are lots of different options when it comes to eco-conscious packaging, whether that’s skin care manufacturing and packaging, cosmetics packaging or packaging for personal care products

So if your customers are keen on eco-conscious packaging, then here are some ways to make your cosmetics and skin care manufacturing more sustainable:

  • Materials - Sustainable packaging means using renewable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials, like bioplastics or paper. This means less reliance on fossil fuels and less waste in landfill.
  • Less packaging - Reducing the amount of packaging overall means less waste, plus it’s usually less expensive to produce. It can also reduce the carbon footprint of transporting your products, which is another benefit to the planet.
  • Recyclable packaging - Packaging that’s designed for easy recycling, or is part of a beauty recycling scheme, means that it can be reused and doesn’t end up in landfill. Designing for disassembly - creating packaging that’s easily taken apart into individual pieces - can make this recycling process easier too.
  • Refillable and reusable packaging - This can help reduce the need for single-use plastics and can mean less packaging waste. It can take a little investment to get it right at the start, but you can reap the rewards.
  • More sustainable packaging production - When it comes to packaging, it’s more environmentally friendly to work with manufacturers using renewable energy, such as solar power in their process. This reduces the carbon footprint of your beauty products and packaging.
  • Upcycling - Creating packaging from wood, glass or metal can mean that your packaging can be repurposed and reused, reducing the amount of waste that’s thrown away as well as the need for new purchases.

Why is sustainability important for your cosmetics brand or business?

As we’ve already mentioned, more and more beauty consumers are looking for sustainable packaging. This is being driven by better awareness of environmental issues, regulation changes and a focus on sustainable business practices. It’s important for your corporate social responsibility.

Getting your packaging right - in the eyes of your audience - can also support the identity of your brand, and help with growth and differentiation from your competitors. It can also help with better brand loyalty from your customers and positive PR.

How to choose the right eco-conscious packaging

If you want to start using more sustainable packaging for your cosmetics brand, the first step is to do your research. Speak to experts in cosmetics packaging who also understand ingredients and formulation, so you can make sure you get the right packaging for your products at the right cost. You can also look at what your competitors are doing, as well as take some inspo from other industries. 

It’s important to understand how the packaging is more sustainable, too - is it recyclable? Made using renewable energy? Biodegradable? It’s important not to get greenwashed (aka made to believe that something’s good for the environment when it actually isn’t).

You then need to choose an experienced cosmetics packaging manufacturer to create your eco-conscious packaging and put it into production. Collaboration’s key here to get something that’s environmentally friendly, looks good and stays on brand.

While you’re refreshing or creating your packaging, think about how you communicate and educate your customers on how it’s better for the environment. Add it to your website, write instructions in the packaging, share it on socials and even put it out to the media.