How To Make Your Cosmetics Packaging Eco-Friendly

How To Make Your Cosmetics Packaging Eco-Friendly

You have a range of cosmetic products; they might be vegan or organic. Now, you want to package these products using eco-friendly alternatives. So how should you do it?

What steps should you take?

You are emphasizing so much on the quality of your product. But you also want to ensure that everything aligns with your company values, and packaging is one of the biggest problems.

With the rise in pollution and climatic conditions, taking initiatives to save the planet is becoming extremely important. So, instead of using regular packaging, you should use eco-friendly alternatives.

According to statistics, around 40% of plastic packaging is produced, but 1/5th is not recycled. It poses a great threat to the environment.

As a brand, how can you make your cosmetic packaging eco-friendly?

Don't worry. In this blog, we'll answer all the questions that you should know about this topic. We'll also share a step-by-step guide on how you can get started.

So, let's dive into it.

What is Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging?

Sustainable cosmetics packaging refers to using environmentally responsible materials and design practices in packaging cosmetic products. It aims to reduce the environmental impact associated with the entire packaging lifecycle, from its production and use to its disposal.

It showcases a brand's determination to reduce its environmental carbon footprint. But there's another crucial aspect that you should remember.

It is sourcing. Brands that are highly dedicated to sustainability use:

  • Recyclable
  • Renewable
  • Biodegradable materials 

While considering eco-friendly packaging for your cosmetics line, you should consider the entire life cycle of the product packaging. Carefully analyze whether the material used is eco-friendly, the energy consumed in the manufacturing process delivery, and what will happen once the package has fulfilled its purpose.

For that, a company can introduce programs where customers return empty cosmetic containers to the brand's physical stores or mail them back.

But why should customers do that?

Because in return, they receive a discount on their next purchase. The brand then responsibly recycles or upcycles the returned packaging. This creates a place where packaging is no longer discarded quickly. Instead, it's appropriately recycled, leading to resource conservation.

Types Of Eco-friendly Cosmetics Packaging You Should Know

If we look around, most cosmetic products, such as creams, body wash, lipsticks, etc, all come in plastic packaging.

If you want to change, here are some eco-friendly packaging solutions you should choose. This way, you can also cater to the needs of conscious consumers. Here are some sustainable packaging solutions for the beauty industry. 


Bamboo packaging isn't like ordinary plastic. It looks expensive and ideal for your sustainable products. But do you know why it's considered renewable?

Almost every part of this plant is useful. It's derived from a plant that can thrive easily. Even bamboo sheath is used for portable packaging. The entire plant is ideal for making durable and refillable containers.

With creativity, you can make the bamboo packaging look aesthetically pleasing. They are so easy to refill, so most customers prefer to reuse them.


Silicone comes from sand. More precisely, silica which is present in the sand. But you'll be surprised to know that it has one similar characteristic to plastic.

Do you know what it is?

It is its decomposition ability. It can't decompose. However, you can reuse it. It will not release any toxins or harmful gases when reused.

It is flexible and heat resistant. So you can use it instead of plastic bottles.


Three components are used to make glass. These are:

Sand + Soda Ash = Glass

These elements are not renewable, but they are abundantly present. Moreover, recycling glass containers is easy. Many cosmetic products are now packaged in glass products.

  • Glass jars → Creams
  • Liquid products → Brown glass bottles


Metal as a sustainable packaging material?


Metal containers are less susceptible to corrosion, and they are reusable. Another important point you should know about metals is their low melting point. But how is that even related?

Basically, due to low melting points, recycling them will not require a lot of energy.

However, there is one disadvantage, which is opaqueness. Due to this, customers can't see the amount of product left.

Biodegradable Paperboard

Paperboard is becoming the most preferred form of packaging in almost every industry. But here's a thing about biodegradable paperboard: it is compostable.

So once you throw it, it'll break down quickly.

There's little to no damage to the environment and living organisms. It's often used as outer packaging and rarely as primary packaging.

Step-by-step Strategy On How To Make Your Cosmetics Packaging Eco-Friendly

Now that you have enough information about alternative use cases, it's time to implement it in your business practically. So here's a comprehensive step-by-step strategy to take a step toward sustainable practices.

Source: vecteezy

Step 1: Find The Ideal Material

Many people think that paper is a highly sustainable material. So they choose it. But you're missing something.

There are a wide range of materials available. The most essential aspect is to do your research and find a suitable material that aligns with your:

  • Business goals
  • Doesn't harm your product
  • Contributes in sustainability

All these factors should be considered while you're making the decision. Moreover, the material should be easily recycled and have minimal carbon emissions.

If your cosmetics brand aims to reflect true sustainability, consider switching from:

Plastic → Glass bottles.

It has minimal environmental impact compared to some plastics. It can be a strong symbol of your commitment to sustainable packaging. Choosing suitable materials means making a positive impact.

Step 2: Be Creative

Now, it's time to be creative and make your packaging more appealing. Add add-ons, elements, designs, etc, to make packaging eye-catching.

However, you should ensure that you don't use any product which can harm the environment. Many brands use laminations, which is not the best practice. Why?

Because it's a layer of plastic, recycling the cardboard box can become hard because separating it from the packaging is difficult. So check:

Core Materials Sustainability ✓

Add-ons & fillers Sustainability ✓

You can use recyclable alternatives to enhance your packaging. Instead of lamination, use varnish because it's a more environment friendly option. 

Step 3: Consider Biodegradable Solutions

Biodegradable packaging is suitable for your brand if you're dedicated to making an impact. It'll not harm the quality of your product. The most commonly used biodegradable solutions include:

  • Biofilms
  • Plant-based plastics
  • Bio-based materials 
  • Compostable materials

These can be used instead of plastic. Since they break down naturally, there is no burden on landfills or the need to recycle.

Step 4: Connect With Suppliers

Now that you've finalized your material add-ons and considered some biodegradable solutions, it's time to move to the most important step.

It is connecting with suppliers.

You should closely communicate your values and mission with the supplier. It helps them understand your needs and ensures that everything happens in a way that doesn't leave a high carbon footprint.

Supply Chain = Aligns With Sustainability Goals.

Collaboration is a crucial part of every sector. It helps in innovating and finding new solutions to the problem.

Step 5: Educate Consumers

Most consumers are already aware of eco-friendly products and packaging. But are you sure that every customer knows its importance?

That's why it's important to educate your customers about these topics. You should properly communicate with your customers about the steps you are taking. Make them a part of it and tell them how they can help you.

  • Share your eco-friendly certifications.
  • Add recycling instructions
  • Tell sustainable solutions

You can even use social media and your product labels to talk about your efforts in this regard. It motivates customers to purchase your brand. Share social factors and, as a cosmetic company, what steps you take to implement sustainable, cost-effective solutions. It also attracts potential customers who consciously make sustainable choices. 

Step 6: Measure And Communicate Impact

Measurement of the efforts and hard work you are putting in is important. But how can you do that?

You can do it by quantifying:

  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Resource conservation
  • Waste reduction

And similar results that you're getting from your sustainable packaging initiatives. Moreover, you should also consider the response of your customers.

  • Are they supporting your initiative?
  • How are they responding?

All these things help you get clarity on which approach is suitable for your cosmetics products.

Step 7: Continue To Innovate

Lastly, don't forget to innovate and readjust your strategy if you don't see significant results because many new eco-friendly solutions are introduced, such as:

  • Mushroom-based packaging
  • Edible packaging

It means the field is still new, and there's high scope to experiment with new things. Adopt this approach today and dominate even in a crowded market.


According to statistics, 77% of businesses have reported that sustainability leads to high customer loyalty. It shows that if you want your cosmetic products to talk of the town or win the hearts of your target audience, you must incorporate eco-friendly solutions.

Due to the advancement, plastic is not the only packaging available anymore. There are many excellent alternatives from which you can choose from.

The impact can be huge if you execute it properly. There are many cosmetic brands in the industry, and it wouldn't be wrong to say that the industry is extremely competitive. You can build a strong connection with your customers by being authentic and making an impact.

If you want to incorporate these solutions in your brand packaging, don't hesitate to contact Altro Labels. We assist businesses in creating packaging that aligns with their business values. Contact us today.