Sustainable Beauty Packaging Trends for Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, I would like to post an excerpt from my new 2010 Beauty Packaging Identity Trends article that just came out in the current GCI Magazine. There is so much great innovation and creativity happening in the packaging world – this is just a short summary of what I have seen taking place in the beauty industry.

The general green or eco-friendly trend has been going on for several years now, but companies are being challenged to push themselves beyond simply using recycled paper stocks or bottles. Many companies are going a step further and using truly sustainable, renewable, reclaimed, biodegradable, and vegan materials and ingredients in their beauty products – and in their packaging. In this trend, many of the packages that have sustainable packaging are for products also made with environmentally and ethically responsible ingredients.

Most of the sustainable packaging identities are material-driven – for example, the Body Shop Hemp Gift Set is contained in a box made from reclaimed materials such as rubber tires. The Urban Decay Sustainable Shadow Box comes in a renewable material bamboo case, with eye shadows in a tray made of recycled paper and the recyclable clear outer PET box. The sustainability trend also applies to the products themselves – EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone utilizes renewable and vegan ingredients both in their products and their packaging. The bags are made with natural hemp material, recycled PET, and non-toxic inks – the tools are made from highly sustainable bamboo handles, 100% cruelty-free bristles, and recycled aluminum ferrules. For the secondary packaging, the cartons are made from 30% post-consumer recycled content and printed with non-toxic inks. Beauty companies are even receiving certification for their sustainability efforts – Cargo Plant Love is a green line certified by ECOCERT for being environmentally friendly in product, packaging, and process.