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Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is launching a new wave of products with cardboard based packaging, according to a report in Packaging News. The first range to be sold using the new material is Garnier Organic Hemp, a range of gels, oils, creams, and cleansers made with hempseed oil.

The plastic tubes that were previously used in the packaging have been replaced with a new bio-based paper-like material. The new design also uses a reduced amount of plastic in the cap. The product will be labelled with Garnier’s sustainability scoring system, known as ‘Product Environmental & Social Impact Labelling.’

The system is already being trialled in France, and it gives each product a sustainability score from A to E, with A as the top level of grading. The grades are awarded on the basis of environmental issues, such as ethical sourcing, manufacture, transportation, usage, and recyclability.

L’Oreal is also making an effort to address the plastic waste crisis through its ‘Plastics for Change’ programme. This aims to support the lives of people in the world’s poorest countries who live by collecting plastic waste. The company has also committed to using less plastic through increased use of refillable and recyclable packing.

Meanwhile, a new survey has revealed that 71% of UK consumers don’t think brands are doing enough to make their beauty and personal care products more sustainable. Almost half (46%) thought that plastic waste was the main problem for the industry.

Solutions preferred by consumers include the elimination of unnecessary packaging in products, in-store refill stations, more sustainable packaging, and in-store recycling bins. Nine out of 10 shoppers said that they look for sustainability credentials when choosing beauty and personal care products, and a third have deliberately chosen sustainable brands.

Despite the huge popularity of the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and the activist Greta Thunberg, they had no influence over 97% of consumer choices. 2,000 UK consumers of all age groups took part in the survey, and the respondents were 93% female.

The survey was commissioned by a hybrid brand and beauty product company. The head of brand strategy, Claire Rance, commented: “Beauty and personal care brands have to see sustainability as an opportunity to better connect and engage with their audiences.”

Rance continues: “We’ve all seen how the environment has been positively impacted by the lockdowns and quarantines of 2020, and consumers expect brands to do their utmost to keep things moving in the right direction.”

The survey also revealed that 57% of Generation Z (the section of the population aged between 16-24) were sceptical of the claims of family and friends when it came to sustainable shopping, believing that they exaggerated to appear more virtuous. 90% of this cohort also said they would be willing to pay more for a genuinely sustainable product.

According to the survey, the UK’s three favourite sustainable brands in the health and beauty sector are The Body Shop, Lush, and Simple. The Body Shop was sold by L’Oreal in 2018 to Brazilian company Natura, who work hard to promote their environmentally friendly credentials. 

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