L’Oréal and Albéa are partnering on making beauty packaging more environmentally-friendly. The beauty giant and the packaging company have showcased at Luxe pack Monaco this week, an innovative carton-based cosmetic customized package with logo printing, which sees plastic for the most part replaced with a bio-based, paper-like material. The creation, whose environmental benefits will be assessed through a multi-criteria Life Cycle Analysis, is expected to start going into industrial production in the second half of 2020. The replacement of plastics by more sustainable alternatives has been a key issue during the 2019 edition of Luxe Pack Monaco and another model of cardboard-based tube was also presented by the Finnish group Stora Enso.

“Since 2007 we have been constantly improving the environmental footprint of our packaging,” said Philippe Thuvien, Vice-President Packaging & Development of L’Oréal, in a statement. "Today we are going one step further and launching this new technology based on certified paper. By working upstream and closely with Albéa to co-develop this breakthrough innovation, we aim to create a new paper-based customized package for our cosmetic packaging.”

L’Oréal targets a first market launch for skin care products packaged into the new tube in the second half of 2020. La Roche-Posay should be the first L’Oréal brand to test this paper-based tube for its creams for the face and body.

“L’Oréal is committed to improving the environmental or social profile of 100% of its packaging by end 2020. This innovative, alternative solution is an integral part of the Group’s packaging strategy," adds Philippe Thuvien.

L’Oréal has taken multiple steps towards improving its environmental credentials recently, including taking a minority stake in Carbios, a start-up that focuses on finding bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textile polymers, earlier this year. The group is also a signatory of the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s ‘New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.’

? Our ambition today is to accelerate the development of innovative, responsible solutions, to dare break the codes, to aim for breakthroughs. It is only through collaboration with our customers and partners that we can invent the safe, circular, minimum-impact packaging that the beauty market wants, ? said Gilles Swyngedauw, Vice-President CSR, Innovation & Marketing of Albéa.

The replacement of plastics by more sustainable alternatives has been a key issue during the 2019 edition of Luxe Pack Monaco and another model of compostable food paper trays for cosmetic products was also presented by the Finnish cardboard producer Stora Enso.

The body of the tube is made from a barrier-coated, grease-resistant paperboard by Stora Enso, which makes it suitable for the primary packaging of skin creams. Currently, according to Stora Enso, making the body of the food grade paper packaging trays from paperboard reduces the use of plastic by 70% compared with a plastic tube.

Sustainable packaging has become a major focal point within the beauty industry recently. Back in April, the personal care conglomerate Unilever unveiled a three-part plan to tackle plastic use in the US, while January saw Procter & Gamble partnered with several major companies to co-found the ‘Alliance to End Plastic Waste,’ a non-profit organization designed to tackle plastic waste levels in the ocean.