Major beauty packaging player Albéa made their ambitions pretty clear in terms of reducing plastic’s environmental impact and better managing packaging end-of-life. But the group still believes in plastic’s longevity in the industry, so they focus on more responsible packaging solutions. “The problem actually concerns design and use more than the product itself. That is what we need to work on, and that is what we have been doing,” says Gilles Swyngedauw, VP Marketing, Innovation & Sustainability.

Reducing, reusing, recycling

The main priority is to reduce the weight of packaging and of the materials used. As a result, one of the new launches to be showcased this year completes the 50mm model in the Slip Cap + Thin Wall range with a 35mm diameter. The innovation consists of a laminated tube + capsule that saves 33% of the total weight, compared to a standard tube.

Several lightened mascara and lipstick models based on Paper Kiss and Paper Mascara will also be unveiled. The lipstick or mascara packaging is made of FSC-certified board, so that the device can be separated from the cardboard packaging to recycle more paper.

Also, reuse remains an essential innovation driver, in particular on the luxury segment. “We aim to design objects rather than packaging products,” explains Gilles Swyngedauw. This year, this objective will be illustrated with clipped or magnetized refillable lipsticks.

Ultimately, end-of-life optimization involves recycling according to the existing materials and technologies. Albéa will showcase Greenleaf, a new packaging solution that can technically be recycled by companies specialized in rigid, HDPE-based plastic packaging. In the Greenleaf tube, the aluminium barrier was replaced by an EVOH barrier adapted to dental hygiene and cosmetics markets. In addition, the plastic weight was reduced by 17%.

The PCR programme is both a major consumer and brand expectation and one of the main concerns for manufacturers, in particular as regards recycled plastic sourcing. The group claims they have already secured their volumes for the next three years, as they aim to maximize plastic use up to 90% of the whole pack.

In addition, Albéa has been broadening their tube offering by integrating recycled high-density polyethylene to three new solutions ahead of market expectations:

 A pioneer in this field, with the Encore PCR tube 50% made of recycled plastic, Albéa has now added the Max PCR tube to the range, which features up to 70% recycled plastic.
 As a complement, the new Beautiful PCR version is available with a white outer layer free from any inclusions to better meet the skincare market’s expectations.
 Lastly, the Ultimate PCR tube is only based on PCR (70%) and biosourced plastic (30%) to be perfectly in line with the virtuous 100% circular concept.

Transparency, traceability and information with #Follow

Beyond a low environmental impact, consumers now expect maximum transparency from brands. With #Follow, Albéa offers to connect brands and consumers through packaging.

The solution features a single QR code and a digital service that connects packaging with the brand content. This way, customers can access more detailed information about the product origin and the process and use of materials in an interactive way. And brands can market their products, provide exclusive contents, and create links to other products in the range, while manufacturers simplify information about end-of-life and recyclability.