A Guide to Eco-Friendly Cosmetics Packaging ( 7 Tips )

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you are looking for packaging solutions, click here.

Embrace sustainability with our expert guide to eco-friendly cosmetic packaging! Learn green cosmetic packaging and join the environmental movement!

Table of Contents

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Packoi Team

Should you start using eco-friendly packaging for your cosmetic products? Absolutely! Eco-friendly cosmetic packaging brings many benefits that won’t just affect your business. You’ll find that using the right packaging material is powerful enough to help increase your sales and improve your brand image.

Do you want to know more about it?

Keep reading this article. Here, you’ll learn the benefits of eco-friendly cosmetic packaging and how to start changing your packaging materials into more sustainable options.

Why Is Eco-Friendly Cosmetic Packaging Important?

Eco-Friendly Cosmetics Packaging

Eco-friendly seems to be the trend nowadays. Businesses are being vocal about their efforts to be more sustainable.

Why? Because customers are waking up to the idea that we need to do more to save the environment. If your brand does its part, people will choose to support your products.

But choosing to use eco-friendly packaging materials for your cosmetics isn’t just about riding on what’s popular.

There are 3 important reasons why the cosmetic industry should start shifting to eco-friendly cosmetic packaging solutions.

1. Environmental Benefits

The most obvious benefit of sustainable practices is environmental. Using sustainable packaging means being conscious of the materials you choose for your cosmetic products.

It means preserving our limited natural resources by using responsibly sourced materials. It also means choosing an environmentally friendly packaging process to reduce your carbon footprint.

Your efforts may not seem like they’re doing much, but if everyone commits to being more sustainable, it’ll start to have a bigger impact. It can start to turn around the damage that’s been done to the environment.

2. Brand Benefits

cosmetics packaging

Customers’ perceptions of your brand will change when they discover you’re being genuine about your eco-friendly efforts.

Your eco-friendly cosmetic packaging designs will create a positive first impression for your brand. It can elevate how your target market will see your skincare products.

By changing your cosmetic packaging, you’ll earn the respect of consumers. This will make you look more trustworthy because you’re being socially responsible.

If you’re clever about this change, it’ll increase the value of your cosmetic brands and their products.

Whatever product you release in the future will be met with the same respect.

That’s what happens after you’ve built a powerful first impression and an influential brand image.

3. Business Benefits

As your brand gains respect in the cosmetics industry, guess what? Your business will grow exponentially. People will start to notice you and talk about you.

That noise you’re making will make people curious about you. Once they start looking at your eco-friendly cosmetic packaging, they’re one step closer to buying from you.

With more sales, your business has more opportunities and resources to scale and grow.

This is what sustainability can bring to your cosmetic brands. It’s a domino effect that’ll increase your revenue over time.

Ready to Get Custom Packaging for Your Business?
start with a low minimum order quantity

The Truth about Plastic Packaging in the Cosmetics Industry

It’s easy to say that cosmetic products should start using eco-friendly packaging because it’s the right thing to do.

But can we completely eradicate the use of plastic in the cosmetics industry? To answer that you must understand why it was the preferred choice for eco-friendly cosmetic packaging material.

Cosmetic Plastic Packaging

The Initial Reliance on Plastic Packaging

Cosmetic products have always used plastic in their packaging. It’s flexible, lightweight, cost-efficient, and convenient to use. It can be shaped into plastic bottles, glass containers, tubes, – or anything else a product requires.

Unfortunately, it’s not sustainable. Even as you read this, it keeps damaging our surroundings.

This is why the cosmetics industry must switch to more eco-friendly packaging.

Here’s some good news.

Over the years, experts have tried to come up with alternatives to plastic packaging. And each new discovery is getting better.

The Idea of Recycled Plastic

The truth is that plastic can’t be completely eradicated. But skincare products can be used without causing harm to the environment.

The key is to use recycled plastic and eco-friendly alternatives. Plastic can be recycled and reused 2 to 3 times before it loses its original qualities. That means it takes longer before it gets into landfills, where it won’t decompose for hundreds of years.

However, bio-based materials have been created with the same characteristics as plastic. You can use these to create more eco-friendly packaging for your cosmetic products.

Can You Use Recycled Plastics?

Recycled Plastics Packaging

Yes, you can use recycled plastic, but you have to understand it first before you consider it as one of your eco-friendly cosmetic packaging options.

You see, there are different types of plastic. Not all of them can be considered sustainable packaging because only a few of them are recyclable. Others are only meant to be used once.

How will you know which ones to use?

Familiarize yourself with the plastic resin categories.

Important Plastic Resin Categories

When you see packaging or any product made of plastic, you’ll notice that it has a triangular symbol that consists of three arrows with a number in the middle and letters at the bottom. This is the Resin Identification Code or RIC. It’s designed to inform people of the type of plastic used in the product.

There are 7 important resin categories that you should know about if you want to create eco-friendly and sustainable packaging.

  1. PET-This is polyethylene terephthalate. It’s durable and highly recyclable. It can be used to make hair products and soap bottles, among others.
  2. PE-HD – This is high-density polyethylene. It’s also durable and can be recycled several times. You can use it to package hair and cleaning products.
  3. PVC – This is polyvinyl chloride. It’s used for making pipes, inflatable tubes, credit cards, and wiring insulation. It’s very durable, but it can’t be recycled.
  4. PE-LD – This is low-density polyethylene. It’s a very flexible and pliable material that’s used to create squeezable bottles, cling wrap, etc. These are recyclable, but they require special machines. That means you have to check if the recycling facility can accept it first.
  5. PP – This is polypropylene. It’s used to make plastic food containers, medical parts, water bottles, and even toys. This is recyclable but is usually mixed with other materials, tampering with its recyclability.
  6. PS – This is polystyrene. It’s used to create medical tubes, cutlery, and styrofoam. It’s one of the most toxic types of plastic, so it can be recycled.
  7. O – This is for all the other types of plastic that are mixed so they can be used. It’s used to make plastic tubes for a lot of beauty, cosmetics, and health products like toothpaste, etc. This can’t be recycled.
Ready to Get Custom Packaging for Your Business?
start with a low minimum order quantity

5 Plastic-Free Cosmetic Packaging Materials You Can Use

Plastic isn’t the only material you can use for cosmetic and beauty packaging. There are so many eco-friendly cosmetic packaging solutions that you can use as a plastic alternative.

Let’s take a look at each of them so you can choose the perfect one for your cosmetic packaging.

1. Paper-Based Materials

 beauty packaging

There’s nothing more sustainable than paper-based packaging. It uses forest-based materials that are renewable, but only if they’re sourced responsibly.

That means if you choose sustainable cardboard boxes, make sure they have FSC-certified packaging. This means the forest is managed responsibly and is not in danger of deforestation or exploitation.

The great thing about paper is that it can be recycled up to 7x before it loses its original structure, recycled paper is one of them. Just make sure you use eco-friendly ways to coat it so it’s water-resistant.

2. Metal Materials

metal cosmetic packaging

Metal is an eco-friendly material because it can be recycled indefinitely while requiring less energy to be processed. It’s an excellent alternative to plastic-free cosmetic packaging.

Aluminum, stainless steel, and tin are only a few of the materials that you can use. It’s not toxic and can be shaped to be whatever your beauty product needs to be.

Since this packaging material is very durable, the customer can reuse it. Or you can make it refillable so it stays away from landfills longer.

3. Bio-Based and Biodegradable Materials

Choosing biodegradable materials for your cosmetic packaging is another way to be more sustainable. These are the materials that can decompose quickly on their own. That means they won’t be a threat to the environment.

Over the years, experts have come up with various biodegradable and biobased materials. These include seaweed, beeswax, mushrooms, and cornstarch packaging. These are all sustainable packaging options you can use to replace plastic.

4. Glass Materials

Using glass as a beauty packaging material is a common practice. It’s a great way to keep products from being contaminated.

glass cosmetic packaging

But the thing about this sustainable packaging is that it’s heavy. Not only that but while it can be recycled indefinitely, it takes a huge amount of energy to do so.

While that may seem discouraging, these don’t outweigh the benefits. Glass is durable and can be used repeatedly. You can have customers refill it—not to mention, it’s also very elegant to look at.

5. Wood Materials

Like paper, wood comes from a renewable source. However, packaging materials made of wood can be heavy and bulky.

Why should you use it for beauty products?

Because it’s still better than plastic in terms of its environmental effects, but it can also be created and shaped to be durable and reusable.

There are packaging options, like bamboo, that can be turned into cosmetic packaging. The fact that it grows quickly makes it a great resource to use.

7 Tips to Start Using a More Eco-Friendly Packaging Material

How can you reduce your carbon footprint? What does it take to create cosmetic packaging that can protect your beauty products without damaging the environment?

Here are 7 tips that can help you create eco-friendly cosmetic packaging for the right material.

1. Reduce Packaging Layers

sustainable cosmetic packaging

Reducing waste is one of the important goals of eco-friendly cosmetic packaging. That means you have to think about the packaging layers that you’ll use to protect your personal care product. If it’s not necessary, keep the layers low.

You should also choose PCR or post-consumer recycled materials to be more eco-friendly. It ensures that you’re limiting the excess production of materials, which can only add to the problems in our landfills.

2. Avoid Mixing Materials

Recycling materials is an effective way to be sustainable. It also helps increase the post-consumer recycled materials circulating to protect our natural resources.

But this is only possible if the materials are recycled.

mixing packaging materials for cosmetic

The truth is, environmentally friendly materials have to be created in such a way that doesn’t mix materials—or at least makes it easy to separate them.

To avoid compromising the recyclability of materials, keep them simple and avoid mixing them with non-recyclables.

3. Make Your Packaging Reusable

This is a great way to reduce waste. You can use refillable packaging, so customers can reuse it multiple times.

The best materials for refillable cosmetic containers include glass, metal, and recyclable plastics. Create them to be durable and easy to clean and sanitize.

You should also set it up so customers can conveniently refill their containers.

4. Be Transparent with Your Materials

sustainable cosmetic packaging

Being transparent is a must in the cosmetic industry. You want customers to know what they’re using so they can avoid allergic reactions, etc.

This transparency should also extend to your packaging materials. If you use recycled materials, you have to be transparent about that so your customers will know how to dispose of the packaging properly.

Give customers what they need to put the packaging waste in the right bin.

5. Opt for Responsibly Sourced Materials

If you want environmentally-friendly packaging, you have to make sure it uses responsibly sourced materials.

For instance, you may be using cornstarch packaging, but that might be endangering the ecosystem because it depletes the corn supply for everyone else.

Think about that, and make sure you know where your packaging materials are coming from.

Ready to Get Custom Packaging for Your Business?
start with a low minimum order quantity

6. Educate Customers

Don’t just create sustainable packaging and leave it at that. You have to explain to your customers what that means.

Use your cosmetic retail packaging to discuss the material used and how you eliminated any harmful chemicals from it.

Make sure your customers know what part they play in making your recyclable packaging sustainable, even if it just means teaching them about recyclability and proper disposal.

7. Work with Green Packaging Companies

The packaging industry has long since adjusted to the need for more sustainable products and packaging materials.

But make sure that you put your trust in the right sustainable packaging company. Many businesses just look at the words “eco-friendly” and “green” and immediately buy into the whole thing without researching it.

Don’t fall into that. Make sure the company can show that its business practices are sustainable. If you’re looking for paper-based cosmetic packaging, make sure it’s FSC-certified paper.

Conduct proper due diligence to make your transition to more eco-friendly cosmetic packaging smoother.

Let Packoi Printing Help You Transition Towards Sustainability

Are you ready to turn your cosmetic packaging into a more sustainable and eco-friendly version? The process is simple, but you need to go through the right steps to make sure you’re doing it right.

The easiest way to do that is to partner with an FSC-certified company like Packoi Printing. We have the expertise and experience to help you create the best sustainable packaging for your products.

Let’s talk about your ideas. We can help you create the perfect cosmetic packaging that’s visually appealing, functional, and eco-friendly.

Give us a call so we can get back to you with a quote.

Request Free Quote Now!

Share The Post Now:


Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

You may also find these topics interesting

Ask for Free Quote Now

We can provide Free Standard Samples for you to check the quality and printing options.

Send Your Inquiry Now

Get Free Sample Now!

Free standard sample can be provided for your evaluation according to your requirements.