What is biodegradable cosmetic packaging?
In recent times, there have been introductions of an environmentally responsible method of manufacturing products. Different brands, organization and suppliers in the Cosmetics packaging industry have been contributing to the advancement in the biodegradable packaging process. Consumers are now demanding that these cosmetics packaging should be more environmental friendly. These consumers have also started reading labels more carefully and are looking for more reliable brands in the cosmetics industry to spend their money on. These people are not just conscious of the type of food that they eat and the products that they put on their body, they are also conscious of the effects of these products on the environment. This is the reason why these people have started rethinking and changing their habits.
The cosmetics industry is a large user of plastics and almost every personal care and cosmetic products often come in plastic bottles or jar. It is also common knowledge that plastic waste end up in the ocean and it is expected that there will be more plastic in the world’s ocean than fish. This has a negative impact on the environment and this is why the brands in the cosmetics industry have been looking for a solution to these problems. The cosmetics packaging industry have started looking for a way to decrease industrial and product waste. One of the main ideas that these brands have started developing as a solution to the industrial waste problem is the biodegradable cosmetic packaging.
PET plastic cosmetic packagings are considered to be lighter in weight for packaging and transport. They are also said to be strong and flexible thereby reducing additional cosmetics packaging. These cosmetics packaging are said to be completely recyclable and they also require low energy input for recycling. The PET plastic cosmetics packaging does not lead to the release of toxic chemicals if they are placed in a landfill. But the PET plastic cosmetics packaging have some disadvantages and some of the disadvantages include its potential threat to marine life since many plastic bottles and jars. Another disadvantage is the fact that the PET plastic cosmetic packaging rely a lot on oil which is considered to be a finite material.
The Biodegradable cosmetic packaging has become very popular and one of the most popular products that is used by famous brands is the Biodegradable paper products. The Biodegradable paper products provide customized and creative packaging designs to brands. This also helps the manufacturers to decrease carbon footprint. Biodegradable cosmetics packaging is also commonly referred to as compostable packaging as a result of the fact that it breaks down during the natural recycling process into compostable components. This implies that the Biodegradable cosmetic packaging are often recycled naturally and no additional energy is required to break the materials as compared to the other recyclable packaging materials that need external energy to break down properly.
What are the materials in biodegradable cosmetic packaging?
For a long time now, synthetic polymers have been considered the foundation of packaging materials. However, these synthetic polymers have been said to be non biodegradable and their application has led to some serious ecological issues. Non biodegradable cosmetic packaging take a long time to break down; For instance, a plastic bag can take up to 10 to 20 years to break down, foamed plastic cups often take about 50 years to break down, a plastic film container can take up to 20 to 30 years and a plastic beverage bottles can take as long as 450 years to break down.
The Biodegradable polymers are often used to minimize waste since they are types of materials that can decompose into natural elements under the action of microorganisms within a little amount of time after it has been disposed. This is why Biodegradable cosmetics packaging often take just about a year or less to decompose into natural elements. This will create a positive effect on both the economy and the environment.
The Biodegradable materials are often defined by their structure and they do not rely on the raw material from which they are made from. For instance, material that are made of polyethylene will not decompose even if they are made from bio based polyethylene, while many aliphatic polyesters like polyhydroxyalkanoates, polylactic acid and so on will decompose regardless of the material that they are made from. This is the main reason why biodegradable polymers can be fossil based or bio based and its rate of decomposition depends on its structure and not the material that it originates from.
These Bio based materials can often be gotten from two sources which are; from the direct production of biopolymers by microorganisms, plants and algae, and from the production of bio based monomers and their further polymerization. Biopolymers like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), oligosaccharides (like cellulose, hemicelluloses, insulin, chitosan, starch and pectin), polysaccharides and others such as poly amino acids, lignin and proteins. From the further polymerization of bio based monomers, we obtain lactic acid and the respective polymers known as PLA. Some polyurethanes and polyesters are examples of biodegradable fossil based materials.
The Biodegradable polymers that have been commonly used in cosmetic packaging include cellulose, starch, polycaprolactone (PCL), poly lactic acid PLA, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and chitosan among others. Some brands can also use mixtures or blends that contain synthetic components like polymers and additives to enhance the functional properties of the finished product and to increase its range of application.
The advantages of biodegradable cosmetic packaging
1. IT REDUCES CARBON FOOTPRINTS AND THEREFORE DECREASES POLLUTION
One of the most popular advantages of Biodegradable cosmetic packaging is the fact that they reduce carbon footprints and this result in lesser pollution in the environment. Since the Biodegradable packaging is often made from materials that are decomposable and reduces the waste of natural resources for production. And also, the manufacturing process can tend to be more efficient and this will reduce precious resources and reduce the harmful effect on the environment. These materials produce less greenhouse gas than the petroleum based plastic products. The use of Biodegradable cosmetics packaging will not result in the release of harmful chemicals that can pollute the water or the air because the materials often decompose into non toxic components.
2. IT IS BIODEGRADABLE
The Biodegradable cosmetic packagings are often biodegradable, that is, they decompose quickly. These materials can be turned into rich humic materials when they decompose and this can enhance water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil. It can also help people grow healthier plants with little need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
3. FUEL EFFICIENCY
The production of Biodegradable cosmetics packaging can take lesser energy than the one needed to produce petroleum based plastics. This is the reason why Biodegradable cosmetics packaging is the top energy efficient packaging. These Biodegradable cosmetics packaging are often produced with renewable energy resources like starch instead of oil that is used to produce petroleum based plastic.
4. IT IMPROVES BRAND IMAGE
In recent times, more consumers are demanding packagings that are environmental friendly. So, the use of Biodegradable cosmetics packaging will help brands to improve their image to the public. This will make people know that your brand does not just care about money, but they are also responsible enough to care about the effects of their products on the planet.