Packaging players’ sustainability focus

The pandemic has seen packaging players put greater focus on sustainability and on skincare, a category that has been resilient over the past year.

New Jersey-based SGB Packaging said that today brands need to have sustainability credentials for at least one part of their packs, such as the cap or the bottle. SGB Packaging Sales & Operations executive vice president Lauren Gibli commented that if a product does not meet the sustainability features the brand promised, they risk the wrath of consumers on social media.

SGB Packaging has launched a new line of glass with 100% PCR. The glass can be either tinted green (from recycled green beer cans and wine bottles) or amber (recycled from dark amber bottles). The company says these recycled features offer a new aesthetic for brands. SGB also created an eco-friendly mascara option sourced from castor oil, which it claims provides the same performance as a traditional nylon mascara brush.

Albéa, meanwhile, introduced its patented Greenleaf tube technology last year, which is recognized by the Association of Plastic Recylers in the US and Suez.CircPack in Europe as technically recyclable within the existing, effective HDPE bottles recycling stream. The tube-making technology uses a single-film blown film which reduces a product’s CO2 footprint, the company says. Albéa aims to make all its packaging 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Albéa’s Greenleaf tube

To help brands make packaging decisions based on their sustainability goals and commitments, US-based WWP Beauty launched the Eco Analyzer tool. The tool provides data and graphics to analyze the sustainability and lifecycle of a pack. The information is available for all in-stock items and can also be used for custom products. The company partnered with a third-party for the validated claims.

Shifting consumer demands

When it comes to meeting new consumer demands, skincare and haircare are a key focus.

Albéa has invested in metallization, one of the biggest investments it made for its Mexico Matamoros plant. While the plant was traditionally known for making mascaras, it is now producing more for skincare and haircare to meet current US market trends.

Albéa’s Matamoros plant

Meanwhile, Canadian group kdc/one launched the HCT haircare catalogue with multiple sustainable options and designs.

Also in line with pandemic trends, is WWP Beauty’s digital detox collection, where the aim is to respond to consumers spending more time in front of digital devices. The range consists of a Refreshing Elixir, Jelly Eye Serum, Pro-Age Eye Crème, Makeup Erasing Serum, Cloud Whipped Moisturizer and Lip Renewal Stick. The products are said to prevent and protect skin from harmful stress caused by the effect of blue light.

Other new products from WWP Beauty include ColorVue lipstick, which uses 12% less plastic and reduces 85% greenhouse gas emissions and a new solid fragrance format, Essence, which is powered by Scentinvent Technologies. WWP partnered with scent company Scentinvent, which manufactures solid, clear fragrance in February to launch the collection. WWP says that the proprietary formulation is the first solid fragrance format on the market to combine fragrance with color and ingredients that have skin benefits, such as antioxidants and hydrating properties; it is also 100% alcohol free.

WWP Beauty’s ColorVue lipstick

WWP Beauty ceo Josh Kirschbaum said that the company expanded its offer in sustainable packaging, formulation and accessories solutions in categories such as skincare, fragrance and PPE.

SGB highlighted the need for new sampling options that meet today’s customers’ hygiene and safety requirements. Launched in response to the pandemic, SGB’s Livstick Sampler is a single-use, paper-based applicator for sampling cosmetics and lipsticks, which can be packaged on a branded blister or card. The sampler takes sustainability into account, with options of aluminum-free seals, solvent free labels and FSC certified paper. The product is said to cater to the Gen Z demographic, which SGB notes is more willing to try new products.

Pandemic pivot and outlook

Albéa vice president of Sales for Tubes America Kristina Christensen said that there is still a certain level of uncertainty in the market this year, and stressed that the company needs to be ready to pivot due to the volatility of customer demand.

Last year the company’s make-up business suffered, especially lipstick; its fragrance & cosmetics business reported a 20% loss last year. However, Christensen adds that its China business is strong, the US is recovering and with eye make-up and fragrance sales are coming back.

Albéa hopes to return to 2019 sales levels for its tubes business this year and expects the rest of its business to be back to 2019 levels by 2022.

Meanwhile WWP, which saw a 15% contraction in business globally in 2020, has seen business recover this year, Kirschbaum said. While the European market continues to be tough, he noted that the US is coming back and Asia is performing well.