Thinking Outside the Box: How L’Oréal is Working for a Sustainable Packaging Future
At L’Oréal, we’re working hard to make our packaging as environmentally sustainable as possible. In fact, by 2020, 100% of our packaging will have an improved environmental and social profile. That said, many of our products need bottles and tubes, which can be especially challenging to produce in a sustainable manner. However, by innovating on new materials, we’re already making breakthrough progress.
Working wonders with simple materials
What, then, are these amazing new materials we’re researching? Incredibly, they’re very simple — everyday paper and cardboard. As Philippe Thuvien, our Head of Packaging and Development of L’Oréal, says “Our team wanted to use more renewable material, and cardboard is a great option.” But turning a great option into a usable product is a long and complicated process. Happily, we’re now partnering with two of the world’s most innovative packaging companies to transform this vision into reality.
Working for bio-based, biodegradable bottles
To work for a future where paper bottles are the new norm, we’ve recently joined The Paper Bottle Community. This new initiative has been driven by PaBoCo, the Paper Bottle Company. It has launched this unique community to unite pioneering partner brands, such as L’Oréal, with the aim of realising our collective goal.
As Mrs. Gittan Schiöld, interim CEO of PaBoCo, says, “We are collaborating across the value chain, sharing the risks and are united in our vision that the Paper Bottle will become a reality and fundamentally change this industry for good.”
Currently, the paper bottle is still a concept, but together with other brands in the community, we’re enhancing functionality one step at a time. Ultimately, together, we’re working towards a bottle, which is bio-based, made from recyclable paper and consequently, biodegradable too. The first brands of L‘Oréal group that will use the paper bottle are La Roche Posay and Kiehl’s from 2021. But our desire to transform our industry doesn’t stop with bottles.
Introducing the world’s first bio-based cosmetics tube
In fact, this month we’ve also announced a world first: a paper-based tube for cosmetics. Working in close collaboration with Albéa, one of the global leaders in beauty packaging, this exciting innovation enables us to replace most of the plastic with a bio-based and certified paper-like material in certain types of cosmetic tube packaging. This is part of a long process to constantly improve the environmental footprint of our packaging. What’s more, this exciting innovation will soon be on the shelves with the Garnier Bio and La Roche Posay brands.
“By working upstream and closely with Albéa to co-develop this breakthrough innovation, we aim to create a new paper-based tube for our cosmetic packaging. We target a first market launch for skincare products in 2020,” says Philippe Thuvien.
Not only does this partnership showcase both L’Oréal’s and Albéa’s ambitions to revolutionise cosmetics packaging, but — like the Paper Bottle Community — it highlights why collaboration between industry experts is so important for developing ground-breaking innovations.
While we’re understandably proud of our achievements and excited by our newest joint ventures, we appreciate this is a never-ending journey. Nonetheless, we hope that by showcasing the possibilities and thinking outside the box, we’ll inspire the entire cosmetics industry to join us in creating a truly sustainable future. To keep track of how we’re doing, be sure to follow us here on Medium.