Biobased packaging for cosmetics


Haley Gershon
Beta Analytic, Miami, Florida , United States


Consumer preference for environmental-friendly material is evident, especially when it comes to packaging material for cosmetic items. This article highlights how consumer purchasing decisions are impacted based on whether or not packaging is derived from eco-friendly material. In response, manufacturers and distributors are including biobased sources in cosmetic item packaging, and then applying for biobased eco-labels for packaging material through certification programs. Carbon-14 testing is used to verify the portion of a material that is derived from biomass resources.


Serving multiple purposes, cosmetic item packaging functions to protect the product, enhance aesthetics, and provide information through labels and logos. More recently, cosmetic packaging is also used to signify a company’s sustainability efforts through the use of both eco-friendly packaging material and eco-labels (1).

Consumers interested in supporting environmental-friendly buying behaviors are opting for cosmetic items that are packaged in biobased material. Biobased packaging, like bioplastics, is formulated from biomass resources such as corn or sugarcane (2). Consumers however are also alert to the potential of greenwashing, the deceitful advertising intended to mislead environmental-conscious consumers, and therefore seek verification of packaging material content (3).

In order to demonstrate the use of biobased material for packaging, cosmetic manufacturers often apply for biobased certifications. To do so, manufacturers must first submit samples of the packaging material to laboratories performing carbon-14 analysis to confirm the percentage of a material’s biobased content.


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