Waste in the Cosmetics Industry

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Good packaging is important to consumers, it makes the product easy to use and store, and can even be aesthetic enough to star in an “unpackaging” video. However, the use of secondary packaging and single-use plastic wrapping creates an unneeded pile of waste. The cosmetics industry is a big culprit of unnecessary and unsustainable packaging, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetic industry, contributing to a loss of 18 million acres of forest annually.



People's attitude towards single-use plastic is driving a lot of conversation in the cosmetics industry, which has led more brands to switch to recycled and recyclable materials. While this is a start, 50% of Brits do not recycle bathroom waste; and the majority of household waste ends up being incinerated, in landfill sites or in the ocean.


More change needs to be seen in the cosmetic industry, focusing on reduced and reusable packaging over recycled and recyclable packaging. Fortunately, there are already viable existing alternatives to plastic like glass and metal. There are also several companies working on sustainable packaging materials that offer brands more choice and variety to find sustainable packaging that suits their needs.

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