With ambitious plans to transform the use of plastic and cut waste in our packaging, here are some recent innovations that are helping us make progress towards a truly circular economy.
Samples play a big part in helping consumers decide on products to add to their beauty and personal care regime.
They offer people the chance to test a product on their own skin, savour the texture, see the colour, and experience its fragrance. It also ensures that if they make a choice, it’s been made by them rather than one based on the opinions of others.
But their production comes at an environmental cost. Sample packs are often made of plastic or mixed-materials that are difficult to recycle and end up in landfill, where they contribute to harmful greenhouse gases.
REN Clean Skincare and its partner Tubex are working to change that. Together, they have developed an eco-smart sample pack that offers consumers the chance to test a product from a tube that’s fully recyclable.
A world-first, eco-smart sampling pack
The sample pack is a world-first in the luxury beauty industry. Every part is made from 100% recycled aluminium, even the nozzle, which avoids the use of tamper seals or mini plastic caps.
Aluminium is infinitely recyclable. Nearly 75% of the aluminium that has ever been produced is still in use. It can be melted down and reformed without losing any quality. And the process can be repeated, over and over again.
This provides energy efficiencies too – recycled aluminium saves 95% of the energy needed to produce virgin aluminium.
Protecting the product, reducing wastage
And there’s more than only sustainability benefits in using this soft metal to make the pack. Aluminium is very effective in protecting the product in the pack from light degradation and any potential oxidation.
Its malleability also makes it easier to squeeze out almost every drop of product from the pack, minimising leftover waste and maximising access to the small amount inside.
And while a metal sample pack is not a cheap manufacturing option, REN Clean Skincare Chief Executive Officer, Arnaud Meysselle, considers it a price worth paying.
The brand has made a Zero Waste pledge to ensure that all of its packaging can be recycled, has recycled materials or can be reused by the end of 2021.
Earlier this year, it also formed a global alliance called #WeAreAllies with Biossance, Caudalie, Herbivore and Youth to the People. This saw each member pledge to introduce planet-friendly packaging by the end of 2025.
“There is no silver bullet with recycling, so we have implemented various solutions to meet our Zero Waste pledge,” Arnaud says. “While more costly, we are committed to using these new tubes to reduce plastic waste and hope to encourage other beauty brands to rethink their sample packaging with the planet in mind.”
How the brand is leading the beauty ‘refillution’ with a stainless-steel pack that’s built to last
As part of our efforts to make all our plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, we’re working on ways that shoppers can buy one container and refill it over and over again.