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Plastics and natural cosmetics: reuse, renew, recycle or replace?

corresponding

HANA MUŠINOVIĆ
International Association of Natural and Organic Cosmetics (NATRUE), Brussels, Belgium

Abstract

The environmental impact of plastics has increasingly been of high concern and led to intervention from both the legislator and industry. We have seen a global emergence of so-called bio-based industries, which refer to industries that produce products and services from natural, renewable resources from the land and sea, as well as waste, rather than from finite petrochemical sources. Such industries can contribute to improved sustainability as part of a so-called circular bioeconomy that also involves increased production and use of so-called bioplastics. Together with new legislative proposals that address for example microplastic usage in cosmetics, industry projects are emerging that search for new sustainable packaging materials derived from renewable biological substances (biomass) rather than the traditional methods using petroleum.


On a planet with finite resources and a growing human population, there remains a conflict between human demand and raw material supply, which poses a great strain for the environment. Traditionally society has relied on the use of fossil fuels and their derivatives for innovative new and day-to-day materials for products. One notable material are plastics. Recently however, the environmental impact of plastics has increasingly been of high concern where, for example, plastics have been estimated to make up 85% of beach litter (1). 

Such figures have led to raised media attention, as well as recent intervention from both the legislator and industry.

 

BIO-BASED INDUSTRIES AS PART OF THE CIRCULAR BIOECONOMY

Over the past decade we have seen a global emergence of so-called bio-based industries, which refer to industries that produce products and services from natural, renewable resources from the land and sea, as well as waste, rather than from finite petrochemical sources. Such industries can contribute to improved sustainability as part of a so-called ‘bioeconomy’, an ...




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