Wasting Makeup: Could The Beauty Industry Improve Its Packaging?

The wonderful world of makeup and beauty is something that millions of people spend money on per year, however, it carries a dark secret. With millions of pounds worth of unwanted packaging being wasted by the makeup industry every year, there has been increased pressure to clean up the process and make the industry more eco-friendly. With each parcel courier doing their part to make the process more environmentally friendly isn’t it time for the beauty community to do the same?

Recycled Packaging
When buying cosmetics, it is easy to be swept up by all the amazing packaging and incredible products but of course, there is that aforementioned dark secret that looms behind each of these fun and exciting displays. It is a well-known problem that packaging across all industries is often wasted, but a large proportion of this comes from the beauty industry.

This is a problem that has begun to be tackled by companies such as Lush, whom are offering ‘naked’ packaging, which means the removal of packaging altogether, or reusable pots that can be returned for free product. This therefore dramatically lowers the amount of waste that is being produced and helps to keep the brand as eco-friendly as possible. If removing the packaging all together is not feasible, for example with items such as moisturizer and foundation, then recyclable or reusable plastic may be better suited in order to ensure that as little waste as possible is produced.

Removing Packaging Where Not Needed
It is no secret that, when holidays come around, the gift sets start being shipped in incredible volumes and with gift sets comes a lot of wasted space and material. Christmas is a prime example, as it features sets within large gift boxes and bows and ribbons often simply thrown away. This kind of packaging could either be reduced in size or taken out completely in order to reduce the waste that is created around this time of year. Additionally, if companies opted for re-usable packages such as a bag or a decorative jewelery box, this would perhaps encourage the buyer to hold on to the packaging and utilize it over and over again.

Changing The Sizing
Although this seems like one of the more costly solutions for the manufacturer, increasing the sizing of the product within the packaging or decreasing the packaging around it both have the potential to reduce the amount of waste produced dramatically. Although this is perhaps not the ideal solution for the manufactures behind our favorite cosmetics, it will certainly be far more beneficial for not only the environment but also, potentially, our wallets.

A recent study found that the average teenager between the ages of 13- 19/20 has a makeup bag that is worth a total of £425 (approximately $550 USD), which is a lot of money before you even consider repurchases when the product runs out. Therefore, by increasing the sizes of our beloved products or reducing the packaging and charging less, manufacturers can help potentially increase sales and reduce waste.

Use Sustainable Sources
Another way that the makeup industry can help to reduce the amount of waste packaging is to only make packaging from sustainable materials that can be recycled or re-purposed after use. Materials such as bamboo and seaweed have recently been used to make recyclable packaging in order to cut down on the waste that is being created as a result. This is relatively easy to source and is 100% eco-friendly, making it the perfect solution for companies looking to change how they produce their products.

With plenty of new products being released every day, it seems a challenging feat to help clean up the beauty industry. However, with a few simple changes, it is easier to make the change to recyclable packaging and help reduce the waste in no time.

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