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Sustainability at the time of COVID-19


The Green Chemist Consultancy, United Kingdom


The pandemic is affecting sustainability in cosmetics in a variety of ways, in different parts of the world, including disruption to the supply chains. Despite the disruption there are growing sustainability related trends in finished products and  initiatives by retailers to help conscious consumers navigating the complex decision making process and also the recycling process. At an industry level there are also very interesting initiatives for packaging and ingredients that could hold the keys to future sustainable innovation.

With COVID19, everything and everyone has been affected, this includes the sustainability trend, and the aspiration to find the sweet spot among people, planet, and profit. Despite the disruption and human losses, some good things have happened sustainability wise.


For the first time in many years we have seen the reduction of greenhouse gases.  There has been more space for wildlife to populate as humans have been “locked up”. Families have had the opportunity to spend much more time together and local communities have been contributing with donations to food banks and volunteers.


However, there has also been a spike in plastic waste, caused by the priority for hygiene and the use of PPE.


The impact of COVID19 has been disruptive for the economy and the way we spend money, to the point that some believe that financial concerns will slow down the sustainability trend. I believe the opposite to this, as the COVID19 pandemic is turning into a catalyst for change, pushing us towards sustainable practises and products.  Beca ...

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