If you’ve ever sifted through all the plastic bottles and tubes of cosmetics in your vanity — all of which will eventually be thrown out — you might have felt a twinge of guilt. In the last decade, the world has manufactured more plastic than in the entirety of the previous century: And given that plastic items can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, those are worrying numbers indeed.
Throwaway culture is a very real phenomenon that’s harming the environment. But we’re not proposing to sell our belongings and take to an ascetic life in the mountains: Rather, a more thoughtful approach to our consumption patterns might be key. And that’s just what L’Oréal wants to do with their newly announced paper packaging.
L’Oréal and packaging manufacturer Albéa have joined forces to launch a new carton-based cosmetic tube. Slated to enter commercial production in 2021, the first of these tubes will likely contain face and body care products to start off with. The new packaging will replace plastic — for the most part — with a bio-based, paper-like material.
As part of the announcement, L’Oréal also announced its involvement with the Paper Bottle Company to help accelerate its paper-based packaging, making them the first big player in the cosmetics industry to do so. Other brands, such as Carlsberg and Absolut, have also joined up with the Paper Bottle Company in their own search for sustainable packaging.
Paper bottles aren’t the only way that L’Oréal is looking to make a difference. Some of their other efforts include a partnership with Loop to produce PET containers of food-grade quality through recycling, and a consortium that they co-founded with Carbios, a green chemistry company focused on discovering and developing sustainable materials through technology. It’s also a member of the UK Plastics Pact, which commits them to a wide array of sustainable measures.
Perhaps that’s why the brand has given itself such lofty targets to reach: By 2025, L’Oréal hopes that half of the plastics used in creating new product packaging will be of recycled origin, or bio-sourced. And really, the only thing better than a good beauty product is one that’s packaged sustainably. Paper bottles look so much better on a vanity, don’t you think?