The next edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will discuss practical approaches to change formulations, packaging, and consumption of cosmetics and personal care products to help prepare for a circular economy. Case studies will be given of operators helping move the industry away from linear models of consumption, focusing on six key avenues:

Overhaul in design thinking. Is poor product design responsible for many of the sustainability issues facing the cosmetics industry, such as plastic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and chemical impacts?

According to Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, Co-Founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, cosmetic and personal care products can be designed so that materials can be continuously recycled. Adopting the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) design approach could be a way to start creating positive impacts (as opposed to reducing negative impacts).

Packaging waste innovations. It is estimated that over 7 million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year and cosmetics. Unfortunately, personal care products are not minor contributors to packaging waste.

Lee Mann, Global Community Trade Manager at The Body Shop, will show how it has set up supply chains for the world’s first ‘fairly traded’ recycled plastic. The company has partnered with Plastics For Change so that waste collectors in India pick plastic waste, which is then used in haircare bottles. The initiative is removing plastic pollution whilst giving a premium to impoverished communities in India. Another speaker will show how plastic waste can be used to create new products.

Sustainable packaging materials. With growing consumer opposition to plastics, a number of green packaging materials for cosmetics and personal care products are emerging.

Green formulations. Many cosmetic and personal care companies are looking to replace synthetic chemicals in formulations, and a number of alternative green raw materials are emerging.

EFP Biotek will discuss green alternatives to silicones, petrolatums and lanolin. Genomatica will give an update on its bio-based glycols, DuPont on green preservatives, whilst Covestro will present its new green hair care ingredients.

Waste equals nutrients. Food by-products or side streams are becoming recognised as a rich source of cosmetic ingredients. A growing number of ethical cosmetic brands are using such ingredients in their formulations. BASF will explain how the company is producing cosmetic ingredients from rambutan fruit side streams. It is upcycling ingredients from rambutan trees that are grown according to organic agriculture in Vietnam.

Minimalistic lifestyle. Considerable investment is going into the cosmetics industry to make sustainable products and reduce packaging impacts, however a circular economy also needs responsible consumption.

Now on its 11th European edition, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, will be hosted at the Paris Marriott Champs-Elysées on 4-6th November 2019. The 2019 Sustainable Beauty Awards will be co-hosted alongside the event. The award ceremony will take place on the evening of 4th November, to honour those who are pushing the boundaries of sustainability in the beauty industry.

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