The ecological transition in luxury packaging is getting structured around various eco-design solutions which, given the innovations showcased, are mainly based on more responsible materials, refill solutions, new consumer gestures, and adaptability. Despite all these efforts, no compromise was made on the search for gestures and high-end sensorial effects.

Making refill easier

The solutions offered included highly convenient and easily recyclable refills for new product categories. Perfumes, skincare, makeup… refillable containers can now come in multiple forms.

At Qualipac (Groupe Pochet), the refill option is embodied by the new jar called Malti, which combines a choice of recyclable and upcycled materials – wood, glass, aluminium – to customize the cap, the cup, and even the jar, thanks to a removable plastic interface.

To highlight innovation in this field, Stoelzle worked on a refillable glass jar, Perpetuel, whose refill system was co-developed with Technicaps. The glassmaker also put forward this concept with a collection of ten refillable bottles created for the Dries Van Noten eaux de parfum, which feature a unique unscrewing system with an invisible closing mechanism. A special key is provided with the refill bottle to unlock the pump.

Heinz Glas focused on glass for the case, and even for the cup, with a concept called All4One fully based on this material. The jar contains four interchangeable inserts, depending on the application or the formula chosen (perfume, lotion, emulsion, foundation…). This concept suits transparent glass, PCR, and coloured or opal shades.

In the skincare category, Albéa showcased Twirl, a refillable cosmetics jar with a convenient, intuitive system designed to simplify the gesture. Aptar’s premium airless solution Gaia has also been enhanced with a new refill device. The cartridge is ejected from the bottom to make the refill process fast and intuitive.

At LabLabo, the Baïa Refill collection offers a solution of refillable airless glass bottles with a PE or aluminium pouch. Once they have been separated, the different elements can be recycled.

Glass was also used in a few airless solutions, like that of Berlin Packaging Premi Industries, Airglass Jar, a new refillable airless system with an innovative mechanism. It only takes consumers a few simple steps to refill the jar, thanks to a removable glass jar which can be filled in with a convenient PP bottle.

To make new solid formulas even more sustainable, Superga Beauty chose the mono-material refillable packaging Stick ReUse by Cosmogen for the Hyalustick Serum, an anti-ageing skincare stick solution.

Cosmogen has also been working on its applicator offering to facilitate reuse. The very popular Tense tube is fitted with a Zamak massaging applicator which can be removed and reused on a new refill tube. Five new versions of these removable tips are now available for new sensations and effects (decongestion, smoothing, relaxation…). Likewise, Fresh ReUse, which is made of a tube and a screwed metal-based pad applicator reusable on a new tube, can now go with new textured tips.

In the makeup category, Aptar partnered with Quadpack to develop Iconic Woodacity, a refillable lipstick in a wooden case.

And for beauty hygiene big sizes, the Pin Pack recyclable eco-refill by the Pinard Beauty Pack manufacturer was completed with new capacities of 250 ml and 1 litre, in addition to 500 ml. All sizes are available in PET and RPET.

More responsible materials

Mono-material plastic containers are usually preferred for recycling, alongside recycled and recyclable materials, the most widely represented this year.

Texen launched the Sweet Collection range composed of a lipstick, a slimstick, and a face stick. All three are exclusively made of PP and ready for recycling. Albéa also broadened its range of mono-material packs for the skincare market with a 100% PP refillable compact free of metal. Thanks to a weight reduced by 35%, compared to a plastic compact of approximately the same size, and to its refillable function, its environmental impact is reduced by 53% after only two refills.

One year after the first Future mono-material pump was launched, Aptar broadened this concept to ON/OFF capsules with Future Disc Top, also 100% based on polyethylene, fully recyclable, and designed for e-commerce.

As for alternative materials, the paper-based tube solution created by Albéa now comes in a bottle available either in kraft or white shades. With at least 50% of FSC-certified paper (without the cap or the pump, if any), the structure helps reduce the quantity of plastic in the packaging, reducing the carbon footprint.

Lastly, to create a soft paper effect on a plastic or glass container, Sleever developed the Matt Velvet ecodesigned decoration solution. This label does not disrupt the recycling process and uses at least 30% of PCR.

More and more glass

Noble, recyclable, compatible with all formulas… Thanks to new solutions, glass is gaining ground on many product categories.

Aptar has associated it for the first time with its airless technology in Airless Glass, a fully recyclable pack to be launched in 2023. The use of drawn glass helps reduce both the weight and carbon emissions.

In the makeup category, the Premi manufacturer showcased a Makeup in Glass collection for different applications: gloss, mascaras, eyeliners... The range comprises 5-ml and 10-ml bottles with a screw neck which can be combined with multiple accessories.

Heinz Glas partnered with Geka to unveil Clove, a line of glass bottles for mascara with several finishing, brush, and closing options. Following a similar logic, Pochet put forward the small glass bottle created for the sculptural mascara Le 8 Hypnose by Lancôme, and Bormioli Luigi, their refillable solutions for makeup.

Ultimately, as they were celebrating their 400th anniversary, Heinz Glas boldly used controlled flaws in the collection Not a Mistake. With these bottles and jars, they overplayed deviations (irregular bottom, visible stitching, air bubbles…) and turned them into an aesthetic design in line with the current trend of renewed authenticity.

The beauty of gestures

Working on sensoriality, technicity, and customization does not mean making compromises on the search for premium solutions.

Looking for customizing applications, specialist Cosmogen used the metal 3D printing technology previously unseen in the cosmetics industry to offer various texturization options for the Fresh tube tips designed for lip and eye contour care.

With a view to co-develop products with brands, Texen Beauty Partners worked in collaboration with renowned formulators. They created four patented innovations to achieve the perfect combination between the pack, the applicator, and the formula for exclusive lash makeup:

- Twice Eyes offers a brush which, as it rotates on the rod, forms multiple angles to reach all lashes. This parameter helps adjust the makeup gesture and work on all lashes, including smaller ones in the eye corner.
- Lash Up Roller promises to tame lashes, define them, put makeup on them, and even nourish them, thanks to an adapted formula. The accessory is composed of two rolls that seize the line of lashes to gently curl it.
- Multi Intensity Brush is a brush fitted with a rotary system to modulate the length and mass of hairs for tailor-made makeup. An all-in-one solution to create a total makeup look with only one brush.
- Multi-Use Pen is an applicator whose handle can house a removable cartridge (makeup, skincare, perfume). Its airless system prevents any risk of infiltration in the mechanism to ensure perfect hygiene.

As for perfumes, the new Aqua Silk pump by Aptar was designed for a fine, homogeneous diffusion of alcohol-free perfumes. It diffuses fragrances as gradually as possible in a wrapping gesture.