Consumer brands are going to have to utilize more recycled and reusable packaging if they want to do business in the state.

California passed a law in June that could have a major impact on consumer product packaging. Vogue Business took a look at what the implications of that law will be on the big beauty brands.

California’s Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) is thought to be one of the biggest pieces of plastics legislation in the country, and it’s intended to address the plastics recycling issue—and the fact that, although many plastics are considered recyclable, they rarely are. The law requires producers that sell, distribute, or import into California to reduce single-use plastic packaging by at least 25 percent by 2032. Additionally, it forces companies that put single-use packaging into the market to take on the financial responsibility of its full lifecycle.

The article points out that fashion and beauty brands will have a lot of work to do if they want to be compliant with the new California legislation. They will have to address all aspects of their packaging, from e-commerce shipping packages to the single-use polybags used to transport clothes. Even items like collar stays will need to be replaced with reusable material or eliminated entirely

Packaging for cosmetics, skincare, lotions, and shampoos will also need to be made with a higher percentage of recycled plastic and be recyclable (according to criteria established by the California legislature last year), be compostable, or come in a refillable packaging system. According to the article, that means the aesthetics or design functions of plastic packaging are likely to change.

“One thing that pulls down the recycling rate for those types of plastics is contamination in the waste stream from other plastics and the design of those materials. Really highly colored plastics are harder to recycle,” says Anja Brandon, a U.S. plastics policy analyst for the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, who is quoted in the article.

Some packages will require even bigger changes. Makeup cases, for example, will need to be either refillable or compostable, and that will make the current model of product sample packages almost obsolete. That’s because they are single use by design.

You can read the full article, which includes great examples of companies who are finding innovative ways to comply with the new law, on the Vogue Business site.

Legislation like California’s SB 54 is going to become more common. Many brands are trying to stay ahead of the curve by incorporating more earth-friendly packaging practices before it’s required by law—but sooner or later, legislation will probably make that mandatory. Are you ready? Do you know what’s required in your state, or what’s likely to be passed in the near future? AMGRAPH can help!

We’ll guide you through the sometimes-confusing options to select the most durable and sustainable packaging materials—and we can help you ensure that you’re in compliance with all applicable laws in your state and in the states in which you want to do business. Call us today!