Innovative cosmetic packaging and other sustainable ideas

Stuck in the middle of a heatwave with no power? These innovators are making brands better to help make the Earth a greener place again.

Climate change has been a hot button issue for years now, but after this blazing hot summer, particularly affecting the western United States and parts of Canada, it may be more relevant than ever. With sustained temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 43 degrees and up for our European friends), dry weather, and another devastating fire season threatening multiple states— the entire globe is pushing for continued innovation and sustainable ideas in our favourite products.

sustainable ideas

Few industries are as beloved as that of the beauty industry— with innovative cosmetic packaging plans gaining serious ground in the market, and not just because they’re better for our planet, but they’re also better for our wallets. Other major industries are getting their overhaul into green as well. So, whether you’re frustrated with current conditions, or just want something to distract you, here are the top current sustainable innovations to help cool off a hot head in the midst of a heatwave.

Mono-material airless technology

Perhaps the biggest shift in consumer packaging is the one being picked up by cosmetics companies worldwide. Possibly because this innovative cosmetic packaging isn’t only good for the environment, but it can also help extend the life of your product and save you money. This means it’s not just the best-case scenario for our planet, but also for ourselves. The reason this packaging works better than almost any other on the market is threefold.

Firstly, companies like DTS are using sustainably sourced, mono-material in their packaging. This means that any piece they sell can be easily recycled— unlike most current solutions. Most packaging in the world can’t be recycled or requires a ton of energy to do so, because it’s created with a number of different materials all fused together. Secondly, airless technology protects the longevity of products, as they prevent cost metrics from being exposed to atmospheric conditions. Exposure to air can quickly break down important ingredients in cosmetics like face creams and foundations by reacting to the oxygen in air— called oxidation. This can cause your products to become discoloured or ineffective. Thirdly, this type of technology ensures that consumers can get every last drop of their favourite lotions and potions, and save on packaging costs themselves. This is because of physics. Airless technology makes it possible to get every bit of product out with minimal effort and without the added weight of standard jars.

Reuse and bulk models

The bulk-buy and reuse markets are seeing a huge uptick in adoption. While early initiatives of reuse, resend, refill, the packaging didn’t garner the support that many were hoping for, a new trend of zero waste shopping has finally begun to find its grip. Largely because it allows consumers to find their own packaging solutions and simply refill them in store. This particular type of “zero waste” shopping experience is starting to pop up in even the most unlikely places, with many consumers simply reusing the packaging that came with original purchases.

Bulk-buy has been around for ages, long predating our current purchase models, but it’s definitely coming back. Despite some consumers saying that there is added price, or certain stores coming under fire for merely dumping single household packages into bulk bins (effectively not reducing waste at all), there is still a genuine market for these stores— particularly when it comes to shelf-stable goods and pantry staples. Consumer reusable packaging industries have also seen a renewed interest, specifically as manufacturers move toward longer lasting containers and those that can be sterilized between uses.

Compostable in food packaging

Food, particularly when it comes to fast food or take out, has long been in dire need of a packaging overhaul. Mostly because legacy packing materials— like styrofoam and other single-use or multi-material designs— can’t be recycled or reused. Which ends up contributing hugely to global pollution and waste issues. Moreover, many of these materials are made from toxic or unsustainable materials, making them even worse for our environments as they age in landfills. Making naturally sourced mono-material or compostable packaging the best answer we have when it comes to food packaging.

Compostable have come to represent the latest trend in innovative and sustainable food packaging, with companies like Vegware paving the way for continued use. Specifically, as takeout and other “hot lunch” style dishes aren’t designed for long term storage or shelf-life, so why should the packaging be? This compostable range from paper cups and boxes, to even plastic-like cases and cutlery. Making them perfect for the single-and-immediate-use case scenarios that fast food presents, all while harnessing the capability to break down either naturally over time, or quickly with commercial composting.