BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010 - (Page 82)

Packaging credit: stockxchng Sustainability Green shoots There is much talk about sustainable packaging, but should brands look at the issue from a more holistic perspective? by Laëtitia Bonnet-Mundschau B rands are asking for more sustainable packaging and suppliers are now coming up with ecological materials and clean production processes as a matter of course. However, the industry is still slow in adapting to consumer demand for sustainable packs, and sometimes what the brands are asking for is not necessarily the best solution for the environment. So what do clients want? Materials from renewable sources, such as bioplastics and recycled materials; items designed with the environment in mind, such as refills; and cleaner production. Many suppliers, including M&H Plastics, Alpha Packaging and Alcan Packaging Beauty now offer standard Sustainable luxury: what’s the demand? Where is the demand for sustainable packaging? MWV European marketing manager, personal care and cosmetics Eva Martin says it is “the big and medium-sized companies that are asking most for sustainable solutions and the greatest demand is coming from Europe.” The demand is also strong in the personal hygiene sector, while luxury brands have been slow to embrace environmentally friendly packs. “In luxury, packaging is not considered as waste, so there is less interest from these brands for ecological packaging, apart from those with a ‘natural positioning’. In luxury you don’t communicate on the packaging, you sell the dream. We are still in an exploratory phase: clients want to evaluate the materials they are using and understand the carbon footprint of a pack, but there is little movement or launches,” comments Dupont Cosmetics & Personal Care packaging global marketing manager Jonathan Cohen. However, Alcan Packaging Beauty innovation and development director Nicholas Thorne notes that the demand began to grow stronger around four or five years ago and is becoming more pronounced today. ”Brands had a lot of questions before, but today their questions and demands are more targeted,” he explains. But there is no doubt that the question of ecological packaging in luxury is complicated. Luxury, by its very nature is about heavy bottles and sophisticated decoration, which are not eco-friendly. Some brands have recently made efforts: Kenzo’s Flower by Kenzo bottles are now refillable, and the UKbased paper manufacturer Tullis Russell produced a recycled card for the outer packaging of Aroma Blue from Lancôme. New high-end brand Kjaer Weis has also launched refillable compacts in zamac, designed by HCT Packaging. However, the examples are few and far between and packaging players are skeptical about the success of refills in beauty. Luxury brands may compensate by putting more of the focus on cleaner production and more efficient logistics. 82 packaging with a range of different percentages of recycled plastic (post-consumer regrind) or bioplastic, a material based on natural resources (such as starch, sugarcane or cellulose). Glassmaker SGD sells a range of bottles made from recycled glass, HCT Packaging has come out with packs made from bamboo (compacts and brushes), while MWV produces paper made from recycled fibers. Going beyond biodegradable But using more ecological materials is not enough and the demand is sometimes motivated more by marketing reasons than finding a real environmentally friendly solution. “Biodegradable materials are not the answer to everything. It is sometimes better to recycle or burn the packaging. Industrial composting costs a lot, and few biodegradable materials have the required quality in terms of protection, durability and aesthetics,” comments Dupont Cosmetics & Personal Care Packaging global marketing manager Jonathan Cohen. The limits of biodegradable materials is one reason eco-conception is becoming more important. Eco-conception implies reducing the quantity of material used (for example, reducing the thickness of caps or the walls of jars), optimizing the size of the packaging October-December 2010 - N°4 - BW Confidential

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010

- Brand & retail news recap
- Digital digest
- Companies on the move
Take note
- Market facts, figures & trends
Best of BW
- Highlights from our e-publication
- The latest in fragrance, skincare & make-up
- BPI president Rémy Gomez
Insight: fragrance
- Category overview
- Retailing
- Industry viewpoint
- New opportunities
- Launch roundup
- Airport Spas
- Spa case studies
- New store concepts
Travel retail
- Market overview
- Retail strategies
- Interview: World Duty Free & Aldeasa
Show preview
- TFWA World Exhibition
- Six up-and-coming beauty brands
Market watch: India
- Country overview
- Industry roundtable
- Retailing analysis
- Sector outlook
- Sustainability
Last word
- Mintel head beauty consultant Nica Lewis

BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010