Over recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important issue, with brands and consumers seeking ways to become more sustainable. As a result, product packaging has come under increasing scrutiny, particularly within the beauty and cosmetics industries where significant amounts of packaging are produced. In fact, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally by the cosmetics industry every year.



By their very nature, fast moving consumer goods are often conflicting with society’s sustainability goals. For example, many of these products are presented in plastic packaging, which is typically thrown away immediately after opening. In a bid to address this issue, more and more companies are trying to become more sustainable within all areas of their production and packaging, in order to reduce levels of resource usage and operate in line with corporate and global sustainability aims. 

Source: Statista - statements on the topic of sustainability 2020

Source: Statista - statements on the topic of sustainability 2020

According to the data above, in 2020, sustainability has had a significant impact on companies within the FMCG segment, in part due to their traditionally high levels of resource consumption.


The cosmetic industry

There are many sustainability issues at play in the cosmetic industry, and these are no longer limited to production issues such as the use of palm oil and the associated water consumption. Due to the increasing demand for sustainable FMCGs, cosmetic manufacturers must not only create their products sustainably, but they must also package them in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

Some cosmetic companies, such as Lush, are taking huge steps towards becoming plastic free and even selling some of their products “naked”, without any packaging.

But, in reality, not everyone in the cosmetic industry wants to leave the packaging behind. Therefore, the industry must overcome the challenge of replacing non-recyclable, disposable packaging with more sustainable alternatives.


Trending Ideas

The packaging industry and cosmetics companies have partnered up to develop innovative ideas for sustainable cosmetics packaging options. Trending innovations for sustainable packaging from companies such as Unilever, Innerbottle & Albéa include:

  • Paper based products – bio-based, certified paper-like material
  • Balloon-based solutions
  • Black recyclable plastic – MRFs can now detect black PET to recycle
  • Bamboo – quick growing wood
  • Soap & beeswax –packaging melts away after usage


Constantly searching for innovative and efficient solutions, Melchers collaborates closely with international manufacturers of lines and machinery used for the manufacture of packaging for cosmetic and daily care products.

For more information on how Melchers can help with sourcing effective, sustainable packaging solutions please contact us at:

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