Since the spring of 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide to raise awareness and responsibility for the environment. And while the planet, and the living organisms that inhabit it, are being compromised by all kinds of pollution, plastic waste has steadily emerged as a sobering global crisis. According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, the production of plastic has increased every year by 8 percent and more of the polymeric material was produced over the last 10 years than during the entire 20th century. In the U.S. alone, over 60 million Cosmetic Plastic Bottle Packaging is thrown away every day.
Since launching in 2018, Seed Phytonutrients, L’Oréal's first internally incubated niche brand, has been a huge disrupter in the beauty space, from their organic, locally-sourced ingredients to their recyclable, compostable, and paper-based packaging. For the latter, the company partners with innovative recycling company TerraCycle to ensure every portion of every bottle, including the mixed materials pump dispenser, is able to be repurposed. Based out of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, they collaborate with a number of the family-run businesses, such as Barefoot Botanical, on their hair, face, and body offerings.
Last year, REN Clean Skincare caused a stir with its first-ever 100 percent recycled Plastic PET Bottles, with 20 percent of the plastic sourced directly from the ocean. Made in collaboration with Terracycle, the two companies will continue to challenge the industry status quo together, with REN pledging to go "zero waste" by 2021. A key component to fulfilling this goal will be offering six of their bestselling daily body care products in glass label-free bottles (designed to make them easier to clean and refill), with a single-type plastic pump for future recycling.
Chanel Inc., the maker of the world’s most famous perfume, isn’t about to compromise on luxury to become greener.
The fashion house behind Chanel No. 5 spent two years developing a sustainable cap for perfume bottles with Finland’s Sulapac Oy, tossing out 47 prototypes before it was satisfied. The result: a biodegradable Perfume Cap made of 91% plant-based materials with a sleek black look and satiny feel.
Launched this summer, the cap will be used for all 125 milliliter (4.23 fl oz) bottles of the Les Eaux de Chanel collection of fragrances. Chanel set criteria for the material, including “the unique sound the bottle makes when the cap is put on, the grip, and the depth of the satiny matte finish on the iconic double C engraving,” according to a press release.
While an incremental step in tackling global pollution, the work’s real value lies in demonstrating that alternatives to fossil-based plastics can be produced at scale, Suvi Haimi, chief executive officer of Sulapac, said in an interview. Chanel owns a minority stake in the company.