Beauty brands are taking innovative steps to meet consumer demand for sustainability

Are the days of extravagant cosmetics packaging behind us for good? Beauty and personal care brands are taking a hard look at their packaging in light of consumer demand for sustainability—and they are coming up with some pretty innovative solutions. Vanity Fair examined some interesting packaging advancements in its most recent issue.

According to the article, beauty brands are recognizing that consumers want earth-friendly packaging, and in response they are marketing things like post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, compostable bioplastics, “forever bottles” designed for easy refill, and “infinitely recyclable” aluminum tubes. They talked with Tom Szaky, the founder of a company called Loop, which developed a reusable (“circular”) packaging system, who said, “The proliferation of single-use products has increased exponentially over the last several decades and resulted in a global waste crisis that threatens our oceans, our ecosystems, and human health. Today less than 10% of all single-use packaging is recycled, leaving the remaining 90% in landfills, incinerated, or discarded and ending up in our oceans.”

The article said the innovations are creative and ambitious without compromising the quality of the beauty products. Here are a few of the 16 products they highlighted:


When mass brands with millions of customers worldwide engage in movements like refillable bottles, the positive impact can be great. The new Daily Moisture Body Wash uses a two-piece starter set including a concentrated formula to be diluted with water, along with a reusable aluminum bottle. After two refills of the aluminum bottle, a consumer has used half the plastic of a standard 22-ounce body wash.

Codex Beauty Labs

Codex uses a plant-based recyclable tube derived from sugarcane for its line that includes several cleansers, moisturizers, and eye creams. The brand’s founder, Barb Paldus, says they are focused on the development of home-compostable products and standup, resealable pouches.


Virtually no toothpaste tubes have been recyclable up until recently. Colgate spent more than seven years experimenting with recyclable HDPE (aka #2) plastics until they hit upon the same texture and squeezability that consumers are accustomed to. Greg Corra, Colgate’s worldwide director of global packaging and sustainability, says they are eager to share the technology to accelerate the use of the recyclable tubes across the industry.

Read the full list of products in the Vanity Fair article.

This is a truly exciting time to be in the packaging industry. There was a time that luxurious design was the name of the game in beauty packaging, but we’re doing something much more important now. Working in packaging now means coming up with practical, aesthetically pleasing solutions that are good for our planet—and that’s what we are all about at AMGRAPH. If you are in the market for solutions like this for your product line, give us a call! We’d love to help you meet those goals.