5 Trends To Watch The Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging

Sustainable packaging entails the usage of environmentally friendly materials that don’t cause pollution while packaging products for sale. As the climate crisis presses further against the conscience of consumers, everyone wants to contribute to the planet’s recovery. This need for a sense of contribution has driven consumers to look for sustainable packaging while they shop. Consequently, prospects for sustainable packaging in the cosmetic industry have also skyrocketed, with the cosmetic industry standing at USD 14.8 billion in turnovers in the US in 2021.

Now, the sustainable cosmetic packaging market competition has come to a point where newer trends emerge every coming month. To sustain in the market, it’s best to be aware of the trends to follow in 2022.

Figure 1-5 Trends To Watch The Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging

Importance of Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging

This tectonic shift to sustainable packaging is very well entertained by the consumers and sellers alike. Here are a few reasons why!

  • Prevents Land Pollution

The United States is littered with about tens of millions of plastic and other packaging materials in its landfills every year. Using sustainable packaging materials like GL film, cardboard boxes, etc., has provided better alternatives to traditional packaging materials like plastics, aluminum foils, etc.

  • Broadens Customer Base

Due to consumers’ growing awareness of the impact the traditional packaging method has on our planet, sustainable packaged materials sell more. A brand can target wider demography based on what its packaging inspires.

  • Gives Competitive Edge

What sustainable packaging has brought with it is flexibility for brands to create an identity. With unique packaging materials, it’s easier to design and mold the packaging for better brand impact. Moreover, with more customers targeted, this trend provides brands with a competitive edge in the industry.

Figure 2-5 Trends To Watch The Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging

What are the Top 5 Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging Trends

Newer sustainable cosmetic packaging trends are popping up after every regular interval. As a result, you should have a better understanding of them in order to keep up with the competition.

Minimalism is the ultimate way

Minimalism while packaging means using less material to serve the same purpose. Various materials traditionally used during packaging contribute to an environmental hazard. While processing things like plastic, glass, and aluminum, there are a number of natural resources like water and energy used. In addition, there are also toxic fumes released into the air.

Did you know that the units of packaging materials produced every year by cosmetic products are 120 billion globally? Even if the packaging material used is non-plastic, this amount of packaging material takes up about 18 million acres of forest every year, according to Zero Waste Week. The minimalism trend is a realized movement with the principle of ‘less is more.’

Using fewer materials with minimal graphics can make the packaging box multipurpose and take up less printing ink. Another way to be minimalistic is by making products that serve various purposes, like a wash for the face, body, and hair. The trend is focused on using smaller bottles, with bold foreground and sober background.

Multipurpose Packaging

Usually, when people buy a cosmetic product, they have no other option but to throw out the plastic tubes once done with them. This is a common phenomenon among the masses. And the reason is that those tubes or bottles can’t be used for other purposes. The litter they create ultimately contributes to land pollution and a plethora of other climate issues.

Various cosmetic companies like XOBalm create multipurpose products and multipurpose packaging to counter the use-and-throw issue. Their way of countering multi-step beauty routines is unique with their all-in-one balm that can be used for hair, body, face, and lips. And they achieve this by following a simple assortment of ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, chia seed oil, and olive oil.

Using recyclable and reusable materials can also contribute to this purpose. For recycling, using starch-based biomaterials can be a prudent choice. Materials like organic fabrics, corrugated bubble wraps, etc., can do the job. While at the same time, a brand can use ocean plastics to recycle into packaging cosmetic products. Moreover, one can also prefer flexible packaging, like introducing paper pockets and pouches in one box to accommodate more things.

Eco-Friendly Materials

Use and throw is one of the most threatening human behaviors that affect the environment on an individual level. Another popular packaging trend that has made its way into the industry that mitigates the consequences of the use-and-throw phenomenon is using eco-friendly materials.

Eco-friendly materials constitute packaging that is biodegradable and compostable. Such packaging materials include cardboard, bamboo, glass, rice husk, etc. These materials not only inspire people to recycle the packaging but also reduce the number of toxic land fillers.

Toward the end of 2022, this trend is forecasted to snowball with highly lucrative business opportunities. Furthermore, the way these materials are helping in reducing the damage to soil is also leveraged in other creative ways. There are paper boxes out there that use plantable seeds in their making so that beautiful plants can grow when the box is thrown out.

Naked Packaging

Naked packaging is the ultimate elimination of any packaging from the product. While this can only be true for solid products like soaps, it is considered the most effective sustainable cosmetic packaging option. The waste it produces is zero, and the materials required are substantially fewer, reducing environmental pollution and conserving resources simultaneously.

A UK brand, Lush, noticed the spiked demand for body washes packaged in plastic bottles. A reason for the increase in demand for body washes was that millennials considered it a “safer” replacement for soaps. This raised the disposal of plastic bottles to an estimated figure of 2.7 billion every year. Lush devised a solution called ‘naked packaging’ for the issue. They made solid shower gels that resembled bars but had ingredients of a traditional shower gel. These bars began selling with no packaging, creating a prominent dent in the market dominated by plastic bottles.

Now, this trend has circled back in light of rising cosmetic demands and subverting climate threats. The naked packaging has brought the industry to produce solid shower gels, bath bombs, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, massage bars, and henna hair colors. Shifting to this trend would require a change in product form. However, it can keep a brand ahead in the race.

Using non-toxic inks

Using non-toxic inks while packaging means replacing petroleum-based inks with organic, non-toxic ones. It’s well known that plastic packagings and containers pollute the environment in various ways. However, it’s also important to know that the inks used on those shampoo bottles are petroleum based and contain many harmful metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury.

After the cosmetic packaging and containers with these inks are disposed of, they mix with the soil. The lethal inks on them eventually wash off and seep into the soil, affecting the essential

soil organism and plant growth. Furthermore, the most dangerous thing is that these inks eventually find their way to the aquifer and compromise our drinking water.

Using organic inks can be an ideal substitute for toxic ones. Using water-based inks, soy inks, vegetable-based inks, UV inks, and algae inks can put you ahead of the trend. Moreover, with these inks, you won’t have to worry about releasing harmful chemicals while manufactured or disposed of.


Consumer conscience drives their buying behavior. Targeting their conscience is to stay ahead of the popular sustainable cosmetic packaging trends. This way, one can create a distinct brand identity, expand their customer bases, and contribute to protecting the environment. Trends like naked packaging, eco-friendly packaging, and minimalist packaging are some of the most popular ones you can use best.

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