“You need to be careful with your choice of materials, as today there are a lot of options. Material can be bio-based, bio-degradable, recyclable, or have recyclable content – and this is true for any material, not just plastics,” says Olaf Zahra, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer at Toly Products.
Speaking to Amanda Xuereb, Head of Business Development for Toly Group, Mr Zahra shares his tips for beauty brands looking to increase the sustainability of their packaging.
The Toly Group, founded back in 1956, manufactures a wide range of packaging products for make-up, skincare, and fragrance products, amongst others.
Mr Zahra explains that once you factor in where your product is going to live and end its life, choosing the right material is key. Having said that, the choice of material should also be dependent on the recycling services available in your region.
“What sort of procedures are there in your country? What are the recycling rates for plastics, metals, etc.? The first thing you need to do is choose a material that is most likely to be assimilated properly at the end of life,” he explains.
However, there are other, less obvious factors that further dictate how sustainable your packaging materials of choice actually are.
“Choose suppliers who are close to yourself, because one of the underrated elements of sustainability is transportation. You can buy a non-sustainable material from a thousand kilometres away, and then replace it by a sustainable material, on paper, which is coming from fifteen thousand kilometres away,” Mr Zahra continued.
“Then when you look at the life cycle analysis, the impact of the two materials would be exactly the same,” he concluded.
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