Plastics have been a prominent part of our daily lives; its durability and wide range of uses has made it a go-to material in a variety of our industries. The durability of plastics, however, has also become a growing concern when these plastic materials are discarded into our environment. The very slow degradation of plastics in environment allows the material to accumulate in our oceans and landfills. As part of Plastic Free July, each of us should acknowledge the growing number of options in place to reduce plastics in our daily lives.

The cosmetic and personal care industry especially is a major contributor to plastic waste in the environment. Many personal care products come in thick plastic packaging that is commonly thrown away after use. These products don’t usually see proper waste disposal, as evident by the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans – disrupting ecosystems and marine life.

As a result, the personal care industry has been working to develop innovative alternatives to plastic throughout their supply chain. Beauty companies like Lush Canada are working to collect plastics recycled from the ocean and other sources and process the plastic into bottles and pots used to store their products. Ecovative, a small U.S. company is working to develop and commercialize a natural alternative to plastic packaging. This is using mycelium derived from mushrooms. Mycelium is added to crop waste and decompose the substances into a material with properties similar to Styrofoam which can be moulded into any shape like Styrofoam. Additionally, a growing number of up and coming cosmetic companies are using reusable/refillable packaging for their produce line. Zao Organic Makeup sells all their cosmetic products in bamboo – a sustainable, biodegradable source material.

These companies are just a couple of examples of how the beauty industry is moving in the right direction. The work that the personal care industry is doing to help provide consumers with different options to plastic packaging helps reducing plastic waste in the environment.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading Packaging Development consultants and North American regulatory consultants for Cosmetics, and other personal care products.