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- 10/03/2019

Sustainable cosmetics for a circular economy

H&PC Today

How can the cosmetics industry move towards a circular economy? How can cosmetic & personal care products be designed so their material loops are closed? What sustainable materials are replacing plastic packaging? How can consumers be encouraged to use personal care products in a sustainable lifestyle? Such questions will be addressed at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, hosted in Paris on 4-6th November.
For the first time, the executive summit will discuss practical approaches to change formulations, packaging, and consumption of cosmetics & personal care products to help prepare for a circular economy. Case studies will be given of operators helping move the industry away from linear models of consumption.

 

Key discussion points include…

 

> Overhaul in design thinking. Some argue that poor product design is responsible for many of the sustainability issues facing the cosmetics industry, such as plastic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and chemical impacts. Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, Co-Founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, will show how cosmetic & personal care companies can be designed so that materials (nutrients) can be continuously recycled. By Adopting the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) design approach, companies can start creating positive impacts (as opposed to reducing negative impacts).

 

> Packaging waste innovations. Cosmetics & personal care products are a major contributor to packaging waste; it is estimated that over 7 million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year. Details will be given of new initiatives that are removing plastics from waste streams. Lee Mann, Global Community Trade Manager at The Body Shop, will show how it has set up supply chains for the world’s first ‘fairly traded’ recycled plastic. It has partnered with Plastics For Change so that waste collectors in India pick plastic waste, which is then used in haircare bottles. The initiative is removing plastic pollution whilst giving a premium to impoverished communities in India. Another speaker will show how plastic waste can be used to create new products.

> Sustainable packaging materials. With growing consumer opposition to plastics, a number of green packaging materials for cosmetics & personal care products are emerging. NatureWorks will highlight the growing use of its Ingeo biopolymers in cosmetic packaging. The bioplastic material is made from plant sugars. Paul Jenkins, Founder of The Pack Hub, will host a workshop in which applications of new sustainable materials will be discussed.

 

> Green formulations. As many cosmetic & personal care companies are looking to replace synthetic chemicals in formulations, the summit will showcase green raw materials. EFP Biotek will discuss green alternatives to silicones, petrolatums and lanolin. Genomatica will give an update on its bio-based glycols, DuPont on green preservatives, whilst Covestro will present its new green hair care ingredients.

 

> Waste equals nutrients. Food byproducts or side streams are becoming recognised as a rich source of cosmetic ingredients. A growing number of ethical cosmetic brands are using such ingredients in their formulations. BASF will explain how the company is producing cosmetic ingredients from rambutan fruit side streams. It is upcycling ingredients from rambutan trees that are grown according to organic agriculture in Vietnam.

 

> Minimalistic lifestyle. Considerable investment is going into the cosmetics industry to make sustainable products and reduce packaging impacts, however a circular economy also needs responsible consumption. The importance of a minimalistic lifestyle to reduce impacts of cosmetic & personal care products will be discussed, as well as approaches to encourage consumers lead a sustainable lifestyle. The 2019 Sustainable Beauty Awards will be co-hosted alongside the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is Taking place on the evening of 4th November, the awards reception will honour those who are pushing the boundaries of sustainability in the beauty industry.




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