Plastic isn’t natural; neither does it grow on trees and nor does it decompose quickly. While it’s the cheapest packaging option, it isn’t cheap for our planet. On top of it, plastic turns toxic in extreme heat and cold that it kills more than it saves.
When you can reduce the use of plastic, why not choose a sustainable option like bamboo? If you sell beauty products, that might prompt you to ask ‘why is bamboo packaging good’?
Bamboo is good for packaging because it’s cheap, versatile, renewable, sturdy, and a whole lot more. Although we can use paper and wood for packaging most things, oily things like food and cosmetics don’t fit well. The best thing you can do for the environment as a beauty brand owner is to reduce the use of plastic by including organic products in packaging like bamboo.
Read on to discover what exactly is bamboo packaging, how it’s manufactured, different types of bamboo packaging for cosmetic items, what makes it so good, why it’s expensive, reasons that add to its sustainability, and what to keep in mind when getting bamboo packaging. You’ll also find out where exactly to get bamboo packaging in this detailed guide today.
Let’s get started!
- What Is Bamboo Packaging?
- Types Of Bamboo Packaging For Cosmetics
- Beauty Industry and Plastic Use
- Why is Bamboo Packaging Good?
- Why Is Bamboo Packaging Expensive?
- Is Bamboo Packaging Sustainable?
- Things To Remember When Ordering Bamboo Packaging For Your Cosmetics Products
- Where To Buy Bamboo Packaging For Wholesale?
What Is Bamboo Packaging?
Bamboo packaging is any size of material from sheets to pallets made from bamboo grass. You might not know this but Bamboo isn’t a tree. It’s a HUGE woody grass. That’s why it’s the frontrunner on campaigns that say ‘save trees’.
Grown in tropical areas like China, India, Japan, Korea, and Australia, Bamboo is an ambassador to most nature-care brands today. Besides looking as cool as teak, this giant-woody-grass has many traits that make it the most-positive alternative to plastic nowadays. No wonder most big brands are vouch for this simple grass.
Truth be told, not all bamboo species get transformed into eco-friendly products because there are over a thousand different bamboo species. For over 3,000 years, Bamboo has been used for constructing scaffoldings, houses, and more in China.
When you talk about packaging, Bamboo lathes to raw bamboo stems must’ve always been used for packaging stuff including food. In several parts of Asia, people even use the stem for cooking food because it imparts a special flavor. But when it comes to cosmetics, 100% bamboo doesn’t work all the time.
While it came into being after dinosaurs disappeared off the face of the earth, bamboo packaging isn’t completely new. Up till 2,000 B.C, it was used for utensils and chopsticks (an early inspiration for bamboo packaging). It was used for house construction until the 17th century, bicycles in the 19th century, and Gucci handbags in the 20th century.
It was in 1995 that the world’s first bamboo packaging pallet was made. Since then it’s been used for everything from bamboo plates to bamboo clothes, bamboo bottles, bamboo tissues, bamboo solar battery, bamboo computer components, and you-name-it!
However, making spray bottles and airtight jars of bamboo isn’t possible without a dash of plastic. While you can make packaging with 100% bamboo, they aren’t always safe for the oils, water, and other chemicals in cosmetics. That’s why you’ll mostly find bamboo mixed with plastic when it comes to cosmetic packages. And, that’s not bad because you’re taking small steps to cut down from 100% plastic packaging to 5% or 10%.
How Is Bamboo Packaging Made?
Bamboo is so incredible Dell is absolutely right to call it ‘Nature’s Eco-Friendly Packaging’. Truth be told, making it is slightly difficult but relatively simple with the right equipment.
Take a look at how different types of bamboo products are made below.
● Disposable products
Bamboo plants are processed into a pulp. During this, 70% of the water from the material is removed and added back to the environment. Without the use of toxic chemicals, the pulp is dried under the sun (further saving electricity). The end product is made into different shapes like tableware and so on for one-time-use.
● Sturdy products
After the plant is mature, it’s ground into a fine powder. Once after, the ground powder is molded into different shapes based on a patented process to make reusable and durable products like the ones we see in cosmetic packaging (think lotion bottles, lids of cream jars, etcetera).
They are then fixed with small amounts of plastic like the ones you see on your perfumes and sprays to create durable packaging.
When treated with caustic soda or Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Bamboo is transformed into soft fibers that can be made into rayon to other textile fibers. Bamboo clothes have more elasticity and tend to break less than cotton and other fabrics. Moreover, it takes less dye to color bamboo fabric than cotton.
In this process, several pieces of bamboo are cut into strips and pieces. Next, they are stuck together with glue. Without using any chemicals, this process is completed in a gentle fashion. The final product is then used to create furniture, cases, racks, and so on.
Types Of Bamboo Packaging For Cosmetics
If you call Bamboo life, it still wouldn’t be wrong.
Bamboo can give life to this planet because there are so many creative ways to use it. One of the best ways it can replace toxic things is via packaging. From woven bamboo to sheets, lathing, wire, and rods, there are endless possibilities to how we can use this grass today. And if we limit the plastic in these products to a few percentiles, we can bring about huge changes to the environment.
Take a look at the different ways of using bamboo packaging for cosmetics.
● For dry items
When it comes to cosmetics, there are several powders and solid items like blushes, contour palettes, compact powder, face wash, exfoliant, body wash, antioxidant, and so on that have a long shelf life due to the lack of water in them. When you pack these things in bamboo, you need to look out for ways to prevent water degradation and instability by focusing on sealability.
Ideal bamboo packaging products for dry cosmetic items are jars. You can choose those made with bamboo lids as these are the go-to packaging available in plenty today.
● For liquid items
If you’re talking about essential oils or beauty products (think foundation, primer, face wash, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, hair mask, face mask, serums, exfoliants, moisturizers, etcetera) filled with water, it’s a different game. You need bamboo products that need airtight protection from oxygen, heat, and moisture in the air around.
There is a wide range of bamboo packaging for this kind of product such as cream jars with bamboo lids, roll-ons, spray bottles, disc-cap bamboo jars, lotion bottles, bamboo airless bottles, etcetera.
If you’re talking about semi-liquid products like contour sticks, lipstick tubes, and so on, there are bamboo packaging options just like there are in plastic too.
Beauty Industry and Plastic Use
Plastic is the worst enemy of you and me. It kills slowly and it has been killing away for over a century. Forget the planet, but do you know the average person ingests about 70,000 microplastics in a year?
To make it simpler to understand, we produce 380 million tons of plastic per year, with 91% of it not recycled. This is mainly because 50% of plastic is made for single use. It also has to do with habits because over half of the British population don’t recycle their toiletry products due to basic inconvenience.
While the biggest danger of plastic in the beauty industry was microbeads once upon a time, now it’s the packaging, especially when it’s discarded after a month or two of using the product.
The truth is that the beauty industry is home to 120 billion units of packaging annually, which includes plastic, paper, metal, and several other elements. According to 2015 research, the packaging alone added to 146 million tons of plastic waste that year.
While plastic protects items you love so much from damage during transportation and storage, most times plastic isn’t actually required on products and is added only to make them look attractive, especially when it comes to beauty.
Another reason for plastic being good is that glass isn’t such a safe alternative for use in the shower and other slippery situations. But we’re creative and we can work around that, right?
Why is Bamboo Packaging Good?
Now that you know how dangerous plastic is, it’s time to decode why bamboo is an ideal alternative for packaging cosmetics.
Scroll away to find out the length of benefits of bamboo packaging for natural beauty products.
- Renewable: Bamboo, unlike plastic, can be recycled with ease by reusing jars and when nothing else works, use it as firewood or throw it in the compost pit. The best thing is, this woody grass is easy to re-harvest in three years without damaging the environment so much as plastic.
- Time to grow: Bamboo grows within 3 to 7 years old, unlike trees that take 20 years old to reach maturity. As this grass grows 2 to 3 feet per day (think one inch per hour), you don’t need to manufacture it.
- Carbon dioxide absorption: Unlike plastic or even most wood that’s used for packaging, the CO2 consumption of Bamboo is 5 times more, and 35% more of oxygen than trees its size. Hence, the carbon footprint of your cosmetic product can be reduced on a large scale.
- Versatile: Bamboo can be reengineered from the powder form, can be lathed, made into wires and pallets with ease. It’s excellent for making jars to spray bottles, lipstick tubes, furniture, mats, and much more.
- Beautiful: Looks wood-like and luxurious so that you don’t have to paint it over with toxic substances. It looks naturally pretty such that all you need to do is add your cosmetics label!
- Eco-friendly: When sourced 500 miles within its production, bamboo can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. It also promotes the health of the soil by protecting it from soil erosion.
- Durability: While it may look flimsy to you, bamboo is quite strong. It’s malleable and sturdy to bear loads up to 3x stronger than steel .
- Appealing to the masses: Today, a good number of people prefer to use products that don’t harm the environment. That’s why if you advertise that your cosmetics are packaged in eco-friendly packaging such as bamboo, you can appeal to more masses besides appearing as a leader in innovation.
- Cleaner business practice: While plastic reacts under extreme high and low temperature, Bamboo is completely natural and made without toxic materials. It will keep your makeup products safer too.
Why Is Bamboo Packaging Expensive?
While it’s eco-friendly, one of the biggest disadvantages of bamboo packaging for business owners like you and me is its cost. Plastic is dirt cheap. In fact, plastic is cheaper than dirt.
But when it comes to bamboo, the plants themselves are expensive. Unlike plastic that can be produced by crude oil giants as a byproduct, bamboo requires cultivation. It’s not manufactured. Moreover, producing new plastic is cheaper than recycling existing plastic.
Unlike bamboo that breaks down easily, plastic doesn’t. For instance, the plastic bottle of shampoo that you used today ago will stay for hundreds of years to come. But Bamboo breaks down easily. Moreover, plastic or polymer is just oil and gas byproducts. Although it trades at a higher rate than glass or steel, you need very less plastic to create packaging, unlike hundreds of pounds of bamboo.
Not all bamboo grass keeps producing seeds as some only provide in every 100 years. Moreover, Bamboo isn’t native to the U.S. It’s mostly found in Asia and tropical areas. That’s also the same reason why transportation charges can weigh down the benefits of using bamboo packaging unless you find a good supplier at good rates.
While bamboo costs less than wood, it does cost a whole lot more than plastic!
An Alternative: Bamboo With a Dash of Plastic
If you want to circumvent the rising costs of bamboo packaging, the best way is to limit the use of plastic in your cosmetic products than eliminate it altogether.
What you need to control the costs is to take small steps for eliminating plastic as much as you can from your products. If paying for glass bottles aren’t your jam, go for a plastic body bottle that has bamboo lids and covering.
Taking small steps won’t nullify your contribution to the environment. It still makes a difference. You don’t need to eliminate plastic off the face of the earth right away, instead, you can use as many organic components as possible in your cosmetic product packaging. And when you and your audience can afford the 100% organic substitutes, whether it’s higher in cost or just getting invented, the transition to eliminate plastic will fall through too.
Is Bamboo Packaging Sustainable?
When it comes to plastic, sustainability is null because plastics keep killing the planet and us with it. On the contrary, sustainable products like bamboo and paper are different. That’s the same case with paper products as they’re still a threat to the forests as we know.
The thing about Bamboo is that it isn’t made using a lot of toxic chemicals. It uses conventional methods to create something eco-friendly and sometimes even unconventional. That’s why it’s one of the best alternatives available today.
Bamboo doesn’t harm the environment like paper, steel, or plastic. Another reason why it’s sustainable is that it comes from natural fibers and not crude oil. It’s biodegradable, unlike plastic that takes 450 years  to decompose.
From production to decay, bamboo remains eco-friendly at every stage.
Things To Remember When Ordering Bamboo Packaging For Your Cosmetics Products
Ordering bamboo for your Panda is different from ordering for your beauty line. Packaging products need to be picked carefully to avoid any adverse effects.
Here’s the only checklist you need to navigate challenges to get started right away.
- Size/ dimensions: The first thing to find the product is by filtering bamboo packaging by dimensions of your product. If you need custom sizes, ask your wholesaler if that’s an option too.
- Type: What type of bamboo packaging do you want? There are spray bottles to deodorant sticks, lotion bottles, airless bottles, and a bunch of more packaging options available for cosmetics today.
- Utility: What are you using the bamboo packaging for? You’ve to keep in mind if the deodorant stick might leak the oily elements from the side, the lotion will damage quickly or the lipstick will dry out too soon.
- White-labelling: Does the seller offer white-labeling options? This is a way to make sure the bamboo packaging products such as product jars come with your business name and logo without you having to add it.
- Policies of the seller: What are the quality control processes of the seller? If the product you receive is damaged in transportation or has manufacturing defects, are they willing to take it back?
- Certifications and standards: What type of certifications does the factory have? Which are their regulations when it comes to cleanliness, safety, and other similar elements?
- Safety quotient: Are your beauty products capable of reacting with bamboo? While bamboo is mostly innocent when it comes to reactions, there could be exceptions. Ask about the complete set of things (including chemicals, if any) you need to be aware of when storing your cosmetic products in bamboo packaging to the seller before you order.
- Amount of plastic in it: Based on your eco-friendly goals, you can choose from packaging material with the least plastic and the most plastic on top of the bamboo elements present in it. This is because it’s nearly impossible to have a spray lotion bottle or a deodorant stick made completely out of organic material to sustain without bearing huge costs.
- Budget efficiency: The amount of plastic in the packaging product will actually increase or decrease its costs. So, depending on how small a business you run, it’s easy to start from products with the most plastic and a little bamboo to the least plastic and mostly-bamboo.
Where To Buy Bamboo Packaging For Wholesale?
Lastly, when you’re trying to find reliable bamboo products for cheap as a natural beauty products owner or marketer, you need quality leads of wholesalers and manufacturers. These are people who need to listen to your needs and produce packaging material that’s right for your product.
Where do you find such high-quality leads?
Let me help you out!
- Go Googling: Your first option is to search on the best search engine with the keywords ‘bamboo cosmetics packaging manufacturer/wholesaler’. The more you refine the keywords or add to them, the better results you’ll find.
- Attend trade shows: The next best option is to attend a popular trade show. Keep a watch out for those exhibitions that advocate green initiatives or are popular for their display of eco-friendly brands.
- Lookup on Alibaba: World’s best wholesalers are on alibaba.com and you can find wholesalers and manufacturers from all over the world (although the big majority are from China) on this platform.
- Check your yellow pages: Go to the classifieds section of your newspaper or local journal and look for viable bamboo packaging businesses. Often you’ll find local manufacturers with their contact details here.
- threebamboo.com: We are one of the international bamboo packaging manufacturers exclusively for cosmetic products so you don’t have to go hunting for products under this category. With our experience of serving hundreds of clients (beauty brand owners who are into eco-friendly packaging), we can meet your needs without any problems.
While there are many eco-friendly options for cosmetic packaging, not all come with the positive traits as the good ol’ bamboo. It’s been with us for thousands of years and is nature’s boon for pollution to all things negative.
Today you learned what bamboo brings to the table. It’s made differently based on whether you want packaging that’s for one-time-use or one that’s meant to be reused. When it comes to cosmetics, bamboo can be repurposed for packaging dry items like powders, deodorants, or lipsticks and liquid items like shampoo, serums, essential oils, creams, etcetera.
But, keep in mind that our industry cannot eliminate plastic altogether. And until we find other cost-efficient and practical options, it’s wise to cut down as much plastic as you can without going totally cold turkey on it.
The beauty industry is one of the pioneers when it comes to poor management and overuse of plastics. It’s home to millions of plastic packaging per year and that’s why it’s crucial beauty product owners take the first step to replace plastic packaging with eco-friendly options like bamboo.
That’s because bamboo is renewable, takes less time to grow than wood, absorbs more carbon dioxide and oxygen. It’s versatile and eco-friendly besides being durable than steel. It’s a clean option that appeals to a lot of buyers who are eco-conscious too. Although it’s expensive, bamboo is sustainable and hence, good for the planet.
Moreover, when bamboo is mixed with a little plastic, it can create sturdy, strong and almost-organic packaging without suffocating the planet. Combined with recycling, it’s the best solution for this age.
When ordering bamboo packaging, keep in mind to look for custom dimensions, certifications, QC processes, safety regulations, white-labeling, and similar features of the manufacturer. You can look for a manufacturer by attending trade shows, googling, checking on yellow pages, or working directly with a trusted wholesaler such as Three Bamboo.
Here’s an interview I had with the YouTube creator Ben so that you can get acquainted with our products easily.
Don’t hesitate to share your concerns about bamboo packaging for beauty products in the comment box below and I’ll get back to you right away.
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