Green

MM Musings, vol. 27: waste not, want not

Makeup Museum (MM) Musings is a series that examines a broad range of museum topics as they relate to the collecting of cosmetics, along with my vision for a "real", physical Makeup Museum. These posts help me think through how I'd run things if the Museum was an actual organization, as well as examine the ways it's currently functioning. I also hope that these posts make everyone see that the idea of a museum devoted to cosmetics isn't so crazy after all - it can be done! 

Recycle
image from someecards.com

You might remember my post on MAC's Jeremy Scott collection, in which I responded to the criticism it had received for the packaging being too large and impractical.  This in turn led to a rude comment on the blog (which I didn't publish since I refuse to entertain that sort of negativity at the Museum) about how "wasteful" the MAC packaging was, as well as the insinuation that I'm a terrible person for having a makeup collection at all.  *eyeroll* While it was a rather nasty attack, I will say it had some value: it got me thinking about packaging waste within the beauty industry and how a makeup museum/collector could cut down on it as much as possible.  So as to keep my ramblings to a minimum I'm examining only packaging and not product ingredients and other forms of beauty-related waste.

Let's look at the current problems.  Outer packaging for beauty products, due to their fragility and contents, gets to be rather excessive.  And consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of beauty packaging waste.  One of the biggest packaging hurdles for companies is plastic.  According to this article, "most beauty products are swathed in plastic, but only 12 percent of plastic is recycled, which means that eight million tons end up in our oceans every year. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and, already, nearly 80 million tons of plastic comprise the Great Pacific Garbage Patch."  Also, plastic takes up to 1,000 years (!) to fully decompose.  Cardboard is another culprit:  "Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign in September for reducing landfill, reports that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. The cardboard that envelops perfumes, serums and moisturisers contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year."  This is, of course, to say nothing of the cardboard boxes and packaging used to ship products.  I myself shake my head at not only the use of non-recyclable plastic, but the issue of having items from several orders ship separately and in boxes that are much larger than needed.  Neiman Marcus is easily the worst offender - recently they sent me boxes this size for one order containing a small item...

MM musings 27

MM musings 27-chantecaille

...the other huge box was for these tiny samples.  

MM musings 27-samples

Now I recycle the boxes and paper packaging, but it's pretty ridiculous.  I understand no one wants the item to break during transit but there are much more environmentally friendly ways to securely ship items.  

Another issue, which I think was mostly what that mean commenter was alluding to, is that the packaging for makeup itself is getting larger and bulkier.  As the holiday season rolls in with all its shiny gift sets and palettes, I'm seeing bigger makeup.  The size difference isn't noticeably larger when compared only to vintage items - there was a more gradual size increase for every makeup item over the last half of the 20th century - but even in the past 5 years I believe packaging has become larger not necessarily to accommodate more product but to catch the eyes of consumers.  Think about it:  Not only makeup is physically small, the market is so incredibly saturated companies have to continually up the packaging ante to get people's attention.  Some evidence of this super-sizing as an attention-grabber is outlined in quite an eye-opening study published by Fashionista.  While it only polled beauty PR reps and recipients (i.e., beauty bloggers and editors) and not plain old consumers like me, the same principles apply to your average beauty customer.  One of the most salient excerpts: "While waste abounds in all corners of the industry, responses resoundingly pointed to beauty and skincare brands as the worst perpetrators when it comes to superfluous stuff in mailings. One theory is that there's more pressure to make a big splash with packaging when you're dealing with products that are physically small — a fancy new serum may be just as pricey (and exciting to its new owner) as a pair of shoes, but it doesn't inherently require big, memorable packaging."  Not only that, brands are constantly trying to impress bloggers and "influencers" so that they'll be more inclined share their latest collections and products on their social media platforms, so over-the-t0p packaging is slowly becoming the norm.  "It's not just an excess of 'normal' packaging items that fashion and beauty people deal with — it's also all the wacky things that may accompany product. Numerous people mentioned single-use video screens that automatically play an ad once the product box is opened as a wasteful novelty that they could do without. 'There is absolutely nothing I hate more than the auto-playing video screens that come in boxes and play obnoxious sounds or video at you without your consent,' wrote one survey-taker. 'It is such a colossal waste of money... and makes me feel annoyed and guilty every time I receive.' Others called out superhero figurines designed to look like them ('what am I supposed to do with that!?'), faux space helmets, neon light-up signs, giant balloon arrangements, a life-size Jenga game and a 'beauty compact' the size of a desktop computer." One recent example from a beauty blogger on Instagram is this gigantic cherry-shaped container for Urban Decay's Naked Cherry collection. 

Ud-naked-cherry
(image from @rubiredlipstick)

And I'm wondering if the "compact the size of a desktop computer" the article refers to is Chanel's enormous PR kit, which contained their new line of glosses.  It could be yours for a mere $520

Chanel-pr
(image from @robinsiegel)

The vast majority of bloggers aren't fellow collectors so I'm assuming they throw out this novelty packaging, which obviously kills me since I'd be ecstatic to keep it for the Museum.  Anyway, unfortunately this tactic seems to work, and I have a hunch it's starting to bleed over into the packaging made for regular, non-blogger/editor folks.  "'It's become an instance that everyone is looking to stand out, and in order to, we're seeing bigger, more elaborate mailings that grab editors' attention. When our clients see this, they want to do the same or bigger/better to make sure they are seen,' one PR professional wrote. Another editor reluctantly admitted that super-cool packaging did in fact make them more likely to post about the brand, even if they aren't proud of the fact."  If this sort of packaging is getting the attention of editors, surely regular consumers would be intrigued too.  The other reason for such over-the-top packaging is online shopping, especially in the case of indie brands who don't have a presence in brick-and-mortar stores.  "Another responder, who runs a direct-to-consumer brand, mentioned that packaging feels like one of the most significant touchpoints they have with their consumer, since there are no physical stores in which to create a customer 'experience.' In that case, the goal of packaging is to create a moment with the consumer, one which can be prolonged by adding more layers to unwrap or sequins to scoop out of the way."

Now that we have an understanding as to why companies go all out with packaging, the solution seems pretty obvious:  switch to sustainable materials.  You would think beauty companies could modify their packaging pretty easily, right?  Not exactly.  Retail space, product preservation and cost are the three main factors that prevent companies from adopting green packaging.  Allure magazine explains:  "Retailers often put restrictions on package sizing to help maximize shelf space in a store (which makes sense: if they can fit more products on the shelves, they can easily sell more). If a brand wants to sell their product at one of these locations, they have to follow the store’s guidelines when designing their packaging...beauty products are a bit like food. That is, they can go bad (yes, you need to throw away that year-old mascara). That deterioration process goes much faster if a product is not stored correctly. The color, odor, and shelf life of a product are all affected by packaging, and many products need air-tight packaging to stay intact. Many skincare ingredients are finicky (a notorious example is vitamin C). When not properly packaged, the nutritive ingredients that promise to keep you ageless can be destabilized and rendered useless.  Of course, as with any business consideration, cost plays a huge factor as well. 'Cheap plastics are exactly that: inexpensive, mass produced and wasteful,' says Lori Leib, the creative director at Bodyography Professional Cosmetics, a company that recently overhauled its products to use half as much plastic and incorporate more recyclable cardboard. 'They do not use good quality materials therefore they are able to make the cost of goods next to nothing,' she says."  Alternative green packaging is quite pricey due to the processes involved in making it green, not to mention that some materials (like glass, which is heavier than plastic) would be more expensive to transport.  In sum, there are significant obstacles to companies making the switch to eco-friendly packaging.

Fortunately, my complaints and those of other beauty consumers aren't falling on entirely deaf ears.  A recent study showed that more consumers are checking products for eco-friendly packaging before making a purchase, and the industry is taking miniscule steps to cut down on excessive, non-sustainable packaging.  These solutions include: refillable packaging (see and  Kjaer Weis - even their refill packaging itself is recyclable), recycled glass packaging, biodegradable/compostable packaging, with vegetable or soy-based inks used for printing directly onto the package instead of adhesive labels.  Another article at Fashionista highlights brands like Alima Pure, which uses food-grade plastic for its jars and recyclable paper to securely pack items instead of bubble wrap, and Ethique, which packages its shower products in compressed bamboo and compostable boxes. Some companies, like LUSH, are forgoing traditional packaging altogether.  Their "Naked" line of shower gels and lotions completely do away with bottle packaging. (Personally I find the Naked shower gels to be glorified soap, but at least they're trying.)  While there is an increased cost associated with these solutions, many companies are now working it into their regular budgets.

Lush Naked shower gel
(image from lushusa.com)

So where does all this fit within the context of the Makeup Museum? I think it would be very difficult to have a zero-packaging-waste makeup museum right now.  From a consumer standpoint, it's fairly simple to recycle outer boxes and bottles.  But if you're trying to preserve makeup items and keep track of them, it's basically impossible to get rid of any extra packaging.  The outer boxes are required to offer some measure of protection from fingerprints and minor scratches while the items are in storage, not to mention how they're relied upon for organization purposes - given how vast the collection is now I'd never find anything I was looking for without its clearly marked box.  The only thing that would allow a makeup museum be remotely close to zero waste would be if all companies used only biodegradable packaging (or, you know, not having a museum at all, which obviously is out of the question).  Efforts are being made to achieve this goal, but we're nowhere near 100% implementation.  However, I do think there are small steps I could take to allow for a more environmentally-friendly museum.  I've already mentioned the recycling of cardboard boxes and paper packaging for new items so there's that.  But if I had a physical space I could probably use the excess packaging, as well as any trash the Museum produced, for visitor-created artwork. Take, for example, the Rubbish Exhibition at London's Science Museum.  Artists and staff members collected a month's work of the museum's trash - everything from discarded cutlery and food scraps to old metal signage and brochures - and turned it into an exhibition.  After it closed everything got recycled/composted/disposed of through environmentally-conscious means.

Rubbish Exhibition, Science Museum
(image from theguardian.com)

Seems pretty genius!  In the case of the Makeup Museum, I'd probably have a "waste installation" where people could make their own artwork out of empty makeup containers, or perhaps scribble/paint using expired makeup on a wall of cardboard made from the boxes used to ship the Museum's items.  Another idea is to have special exhibitions devoted to eco-friendly beauty lines, or artists who repurpose cosmetics for their work - could you imagine a whole exhibition full Makeup as Muse artists?

Secondly, for vintage items I reuse whatever packaging I have and label it with a post-it note (reusing ones from my office that we no longer can use because the organization's logo is way out of date), or if it the item arrives from the seller in a gift box, I'll write on the box directly to label it.  Also, isn't preserving vintage items sort of recycling, in a way?  I like to think of it as rescuing items that would otherwise be destined for a landfill. 

Third, I think we all need to demand a radical change from beauty companies regarding their current approach to packaging.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  consumers have to do their part by being thoughtful about what they purchase and recycle as much as possible, but most of the responsibility for being environmentally conscious lies with cosmetics manufacturers.  Consumers can only do so much; I could recycle cardboard boxes till the cows come home and buy less overall, but wouldn't it be so much more helpful for the environment if companies didn't produce excessive, plastic-filled packaging in the first place?  As someone who lacks the clout of major beauty bloggers and editors, I doubt my individual voice will be heard, but hopefully the collective masses will start being more vocal about their expectations for companies to use sustainable materials as well as the implementation of recycling programs until they become the norm rather than the exception.  As we saw earlier, there are major challenges in switching to green packaging, most notably cost, but I bet consumers would be willing to pay a tiny bit more for product packaging that won't harm the planet.  Plus if small indie brands are adopting zero-waste practices, surely the big manufacturers can do it too.  I also don't believe that using biodegradable, recyclable materials would drastically limit the type of designs that appear on packaging or their overall style.  While I genuinely care about the sad state of our planet (especially the oceans - all that plastic is killing mermaids and their sea creature friends!), I do shudder at the thought of having boring packaging that all looks the same.  And I don't like the idea of never having oversize, incredibly fun items like the MAC Jeremy Scott collection.  But I really think you can have beautiful packaging (complete with my beloved artist collaborations) using alternative materials.  This way I can have my cake and eat it too - even if the packaging is big and splashy, it shouldn't do any long-term damage if it's made out of earth-friendly materials.

What do you think about the current state of beauty packaging?  Do you try to reduce the amount of wasteful/environmentally harmful packaging you buy?


The latest in green beauty

Today I thought I'd bring you some very interesting green beauty innovations courtesy of one of my favorite design and architecture blogs, Dezeen.  First up is this hairdryer made out of bamboo, which was designed by Samy Rio and won top prize at the 2015 Design Parade competition.  It's sleek, minimal and looks like something you'd find in a high-end eco-friendly salon or spa.  

Bamboo hairdryer

Bamboo hairdryer

Bamboo hairdryer display
(images from dezeen.com)

From an aesthetic perspective, the design is fantastic - it would look so pretty sitting on my vanity.  But from a practical perspective, I'm curious to know how a simple material like bamboo stacks up next to our fancy ionic hairdryers made of metal and plastic. Would my hair be as smooth as with a regular dryer?  How loud is it?  How does the drying time compare?  Bamboo is a recyclable, renewable resource and I would love to see it used more in beauty gadgets, but if it doesn't perform well, forget it.  

Next up are these false eyelashes fashioned from blades of grass and pine needles, while the glue is made from eggs and water.  Kingston University student Mary Graham designed these eyelashes to highlight the fact that while many cosmetic companies slap the "natural" label on their products, many of them contain ingredients that have been treated with artificial chemicals.  Plus, only 1% of the product actually has to be natural to be earn the label. 

Natural false eyelashes by Mary Graham

Natural false eyelashes by Mary Graham

Natural false eyelashes by Mary Graham

Natural false eyelashes by Mary Graham
(images from dezeen.com)

While I don't think these lashes are practical for most people (especially those of us with grass allergies) and certainly not intended for everyday wear, Graham believes that they would eventually win over cosmetic aficionados.  "With the ever-growing DIY culture infiltrating cosmetics I do believe that these lashes could catch on as a trend...people are now encouraged to go into their gardens and gather plants and mud to make face masks, so why not eyelashes?" Given how time-consuming it must be to make them and the fact that one can't re-use them as they wilt within 24 hours, I'm not sure how the average person would actually construct their own false lashes from plants.  But I could definitely see them working for magazine editorials and couture shows, especially since the materials change with the seasons.  "I want to create these lashes again but in the autumn so that I could use beautiful oranges and reds.  These lashes have seasons and would appear differently depending on the time of year. Almost like fashion trends, they are always changing and never constant," Graham says.  She also hopes to expand beyond lashes to form a full-fledged, all-natural beauty line that would feature lipsticks made from beetroot and mixtures of sand and chalk for a fake tanning solution. 

Would you try out either of these new beauty innovations?  I'd definitely try out the hair dryer but I'm iffy on the eyelashes.  Not because I don't love how they look, but my eyes are super sensitive and might react poorly to the materials, natural though they may be.


Quick post: Clarins The Essentials palette

I really wish more companies would make palettes like this.  Clarins' Essentials palette is both made from all recycled materials and is itself entirely recyclable, complete with a sustainably-sourced birch wood brush.  Oh, and the colors are really pretty too!

Clarins-Essentials Palette-2013
(image from salonskincare.co.uk)

Additionally, Clarins has partnered with Pur Projet, "an association which aims to preserve ecosystems in partnership with disadvantaged communities."  One of Pur Projet's initiatives is supporting the Kuntanawa people in Brazil, whose Amazonian culture is threatened by deforestation (the Kuntanawa population is under 400.)  Proceeds from the Clarins Essentials palette will go to the company's goal of planting 10,000 trees with medical and cosmetic purposes in the area.  Interestingly, "among these trees is the urucum, which produces a red pigment traditionally used for the community's ritual make-up."  It's a great concept - I love the idea of buying makeup to help an indigenous culture sustain their own makeup.

Will you be partaking in this do-gooder palette?


Allure's Green Campaign and Gobugi

Last week I came across these wonderful illustrations by Korean artist Gobugi, a.k.a. Park Jung Eun, at Design Is Mine.  I went to pin one of them to one of the boards at my non-Makeup-Museum Pinterest account and decided to check out the rest of her work, when this caught my eye:

Gobugi-clarins

I immediately said "oooh!" and frantically checked to see if this lovely drawing will be appearing or already appeared on any Clarins products.  While my search did not turn up a collaboration with Clarins, it did reveal a cosmetic connection to the illustration:  Allure's Green Campaign, an annual program launched in 2008 by the Korean version of this beauty magazine.  The campaign aims to "increase public awareness of the importance of the environment." While I couldn't find much info for the 2013 campaign, I imagine it was similar to the one for 2012.

In 2012, ten illustrators contributed original drawings to be used on t-shirts, and Korean celebrities modeled their creations.  All of the proceeds from the t-shirts went to an animal monitoring program run by Green Korea United that has the protection of mountain goats as one of its chief initiatives.  Gobugi was one of the  illustrators selected to create the designs that year as well.  (You can see the other goat-tastic designs here and here).  Nearly $25,000 was raised!

Gobugi-green-allure

As far as I know the Green Campaign is a Korea-exclusive campaign, which strikes me as very strange - it's a fantastic idea that Allure should implement in other countries.

I'll leave you with this strange but still celebratory image Gobugi created for Allure Korea's 9th anniversary.  If she thoroughly works her Allure connections, maybe we will see a Gobugi collaboration with an actual makeup line rather than magazine/t-shirt illustrations.  While impressive in those formats, I would dearly love to see her designs on a palette.

Gobugi-allure-mag
(images from gobugipaper.co.kr)

What do you think of Gobugi's work?  And do you think Allure's Green Campaign should be worldwide?


A giant reminder of beauty's waste

A former colleague of mine sent this to me.  Artist Agne Kisonaite created this 2.5 meter (roughly 8 feet) tall sculpture made out of over 5,000 used lipstick tubes with the aim of reminding people to be more thoughtful about the waste that is produced as a result of their purchases.

Giantlipstick01

Giantlipstick02

Giantlipstick03

Giantlipstick04
(images from designboom.com)

Here's a short video on the construction of the piece.

 

While I think the design is spectacular, I'm disappointed with the fact that the Kisonaite's message is addresses to consumers rather than makeup companies.  Beauty aficionados like myself would happily recycle our lipstick tubes and other packaging if companies would make the outer cases out of recyclable material, or if they at least offered refillable packaging for all products instead of just for face powder products.  Or they could all adopt the excellent "Back to MAC" program that MAC offers, which consists of consumers turning in six used containers, including lipstick containers, in exchange for one brand-new, free product. 

One of the artist's blog entries on the scultpure states, "When you realise that there are 4 lipstick tubes being sold every second somewhere in the world, you really become worried. That’s why I want to transform lipstick tubes into an artpiece and to pay people’s attention towards recycling...I want make the society think about consumerism that is growing day by day.  Having a look at an object that is 3 metres high will encourage people to think whether they really need everything they have in their handbags."

But why should the burden of going green be totally on the consumer?  And a woman consumer at that.  At first I thought the lipstick might be a general representation of consumer waste and was in intended for both men and women to think about what they buy - Kisonaite wants to make "society" think about consumerism.  But her mention of "handbags" and the statistic about the sale of lipsticks (the majority to women, presumably) make me think she's targeting women and their beauty purchases specifically.  Why shouldn't men, and women who don't buy makeup, think about all the things they buy too?  Additionally, just because lipsticks sell fast doesn't mean the buyer isn't  thinking about their purchases, especially (and ironically) those of us who have large amounts of makeup.  For my non-collectible makeup, e.g., the stuff I actually use, I always make sure I don't already own the color and that I will actually wear it.  Why do so many beauty blogs even exist?  So that people can see swatches and read detailed reviews and thus make informed decisions about the product before they buy.

I do think we have some responsibility in what we decide to buy, along with other ways of helping the environment like reducing electricity and gas consumption.  However, I think in the case of makeup, most of the responsibility lies with the companies themselves to make more eco-friendly packaging.  As beauty product consumers, perhaps it's our duty to demand that the industry switch to recyclable packaging - our voices have definitely influenced companies before - and to think carefully before we add shiny new things to our beauty arsenal, but we shouldn't have to restrict our purchases until environmentally-friendly packaging is the norm. 

Also, I'd like to point out that the project is sponsored by Avon, who provided some of the used lipstick tubes.  I'm not sure I can take the message "consume responsibly" seriously when a major cosmetics company whose business it is to sell as many lipsticks as possible is backing it.  I also think it's a tad insincere.  Donating used lipstick tubes for an art project to raise awareness about consumerist excess isn't so meaningful when you're one of the companies that sold some of the lipsticks, contributing to the very waste the artist is trying to get people to consider, to begin with. 

Thoughts?

 


Quick post: Happy solstice!

I was hoping to get the summer exhibition up today, but that didn't work out.  *grumble*  Instead I'm honoring the solstice and the longest day of the year with Stila's solar-powered compact.

Stila solar compact
(image from stilacosmetics.com)

Isn't this cool?  One side contains a matte powder and the other is a highlighter.  According to the description, the "solar panel lasts approximately five years and can be fully charged up to one thousand times."  Plus the compact is refillable and made from recycled material.  Talk about eco-friendly!

Enjoy all the delicious summer daylight!


Bohemian rhapsody: Makeup Forever La Boheme collection

Happy March!  With spring just a few weeks away it's time to let our hair down with a new palette. 

It's always interesting to see one's take on a bohemian theme, since "bohemian" has no single definition - the term can indicate someone who refuses to live a conventional lifestyle, or simply a free-spirited wandering type.  (For me personally, everytime I hear the word I think of an Anthropologie catalog, as in "bohemian chic").  In the case of the La Boheme collection, Make Up For Ever attempts to represent one of the most historical definitions of the word - gypsy.   A jumble of colorful patchwork adorns the centerpiece of the collection, an eye shadow palette consisting of six bright colors.

Mufe boheme
(image from sephora.com)

Says the company's website, "This Spring, the Bohemian attitude is back. Floral motifs, ethnic and gypsy influences, handmade embroidery, patchwork and prints… MAKE UP FOR EVER draws from this trend and creates a glam gypsy collection. MAKE UP FOR EVER takes a Bohemian approach to life...A collection inspired by nature, to let your beauty desires blossom and give new form to the Bohemian spirit.  This star product is a unique limited-edition palette dressed in an entirely homemade creation made of recyclable cardboard. A bold patchwork of Provençal or floral motifs, with arabesques and refined details. Historical pieces that Dany Sanz brought back from her travels and cleverly selected and coordinated. As if topstitched, the logo looks handmade. Inside this case, which opens with a silky ribbon, an iconic flower of the collection stands out against the black background."

I like this - the patterns on the patches definitely look bohemian, judging by the images that came up when I searched it on Pinterest:

8444318020809901_a5sKSiLY_c

180636635023584437_QyLNLJOl_c

84372192988512880_pUcADUFU_c
(all image sources available at Pinterest)

But there's also a distinctly hippie feel to the palette which, nowadays, is part and parcel of the notion of bohemianism.  (I also searched Google, and a related search that it prompted when I typed in "bohemian" was "hippie").  The big flower, the fact that the package is recyclable, and that the collection is "inspired by nature" are all very flower-child. 

While bohemian isn't really my thing, I think MUFE did a nice job with this - it definitely captures the Boho/gypsy theme.  What I would have really liked to see were pictures of the actual "historical pieces that Dany Sanz brought back from her travels" that served as the inspiration for the collection and for the palette's design.

What do you think?


Bamboozled: Sonia Kashuk eco-friendly brushes

Last year Sonia Kashuk released a set of brushes made to look like coral.  This year she ups the ante with bamboo-shaped brushes made from, well, bamboo.  They also fit neatly into cork bags. 

Sonia kashuk bamboo
(image from soniakashuk.com)

This is a great concept that I wish more makeup companies would adopt - not only are the brushes unusual looking, they're made from green materials.  I mean they don't have to look like bamboo or be made from it necessarily, but brush design seem to be the main thing cosmetic companies tend to overlook - the handles are always a plain shape and there's very little color (with the exception of Sephora's and Lancome's limited-edition colored brush sets.)  I have to say I'm really digging the cork bag too, although it kind of makes me want to stick push pins in it.  ;)  What do you think?


Friday Fun: authentic retro lip balms

U.K.-based Andrea Garland has created a lovely line of natural skin care and lip balms.  It's great that the products themselves are natural, but the packaging is the real showstopper here - not only is it adorable, it's also recycled!  Garland takes used pill boxes and fills them with her balms (after sterilizing the boxes, of course!) And you can send the boxes back to her for a refill when you've used up the balm. The designs range from retro to glamourous to downright cutesy:

Retro andrea garland

Glam andrea garland

Cute andrea garland

(all photos from andreagarland.co.uk)

The retro ones in particular remind of on10's cute lip balm tins featuring Hershey's chocolate, 7UP or Schweppes, which I've posted about before.  But Garland's are even better since they're refillable and recycled!


News updates: Green packaging roundup

Cosmetics Design has reported some interesting new developments in eco-friendly packaging and technology. 

  • Taxing new plastic to increase the use of recycled materials.  The cost of using "virgin" plastic is much lower than using recycled materials, so there's little financial incentive for cosmetic companies to use them.  However, if they were taxed companies might be more likely to use recycled plastic.

  • New bioplastic.  Mirel is a new kind of bioplastic superior to the older versions due to its increased resistance to heat and better processability.  This means that it functions as well as traditional plastic containers, but with a much smaller carbon footprint.

  • Dupont packaging award.  The article doesn't mention which company won the award, so I'm assuming this is a brand new development, but in any case I think it's great that a big company will recognize the use of sustainable packaging that doesn't negatively impact the look or protection of the product.