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Paper Packaging The Sustainable Option for Beauty Products

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The global cosmetic packaging market’s worth continues to soar and is set to hit $35.7 billion by 2024. The main driving forces for this rise is aesthetics and appearance, which has influenced shelves, store centers, and not the look & feel, design and safety of products.

Consequently, the packaging demand across the world is growing at 2.9% with experts estimating that by 2024, the demand for packaging will hit $1.05 trillion growing at a steady rate of 2.8%.

Of this, paper packaging and paperboard account for a market share worth of $213.4 billion with its demand rising by 3.5% per annum.

Factors Driving Beauty Brand Manufacturers to Paper Packaging


The switch from plastic to paper packaging solutions is mainly driven. By increasing problems of non-biodegradable or slow plastic and metal packaging degradation as well as landfill.

Paper’s eco-friendly appeal has also helped in acceptance and penetration worldwide. We’ve witnessed lots of innovations, designs and technological advancements in the last decade that have helped beauty brands enter new segments.

Sustainability has never been a higher priority for consumers of beauty products and beauty brands alike.

In fact, a recent poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 56% believe it’s important to find products with recyclable packaging – and paper is often heralded as the solution. The poll, by weDo/Professional – a haircare brand – also found that 54% of the respondents consider sustainability more important when buying beauty products in recent years.

Thanks to the Attenborough effect, more people are going for planet-friendly paper alternatives. Manufacturers are also innovating with the latest paper and paperboard solutions on the market to offer more sustainable solutions to beauty brands.

Paper offers a unique tactile experience with customization opportunities, which is why beauty brands are turning to the versatile material for their packaging design goals.

Plus, paper is clean, renewable, and continuously offers new applications, possibilities and end uses.


Beauty Brands and the Adoption of Paper Packaging Design and Technology


Many brands want to promote a circular economy aimed at waste elimination and continued use of resources.

Paper is an integral part of a circular or closed-loop economy because it can actually be recycled up to seven times. This makes paper an excellent replacement for plastic in many cases.

Source: Senlarry Packaging

Paper packaging solution providers have done several studies into what drives beauty product packaging designs.

Here’s a look at some real-life examples of how beauty brands are adapting the paper packaging design and technology.


Translucent barrier paper packaging


Arjowiggins, an international paper specialist company has also developed translucent barrier papers called Sylvicta, which are useful for packaging cosmetics. This paper packaging solution provides the beauty industry with effective, sustainable and creative alternatives to plastic.

Sylvicta is developed with precision fibre refining techniques to derive the translucent barrier paper. This technique creates a natural bonding that offers a barrier to aroma, oxygen and oils, thereby matching plastic’s preservation power.

The company says the paper is fully recyclable, marine degradable, compostable and made from renewable materials. All these qualities answer the demand for sustainable packaging alternatives to plastic, which paper provides.


Source: Sylvicta

The translucent paper can be used to wrap different types of beauty products from bath bombs to soap and creams among others. The material also provides several creative possibilities as it can be embossed, foil-stamped, coated with bio-wax to increase translucency and for wet-strength properties, or metallized.

Sylvicta also helps brands showcase their products to retailers and consumers. While paper doesn’t offer similar transparency levels as plastic, it doesn’t deter the eco-conscious consumer. Their evolving attitudes means that they too want to be part of the solution so they’ll embrace whatever helps protect the planet.

The paper also preserves the product, its aroma and freshness. It also helps in reducing waste by prolonging shelf life during different phases of the value chain like transportation, retail and consumer phases.

The manufacturer hopes to make the Sylvicta paper hydrophobic so that it’s water resistant and can be used as an effective liquid barrier.


Paper Bottles and Tubes


Paper tubes were launched by L’Oreal – the world’s largest cosmetics company - under its La Roche-Posay brand. While the tubes still contained plastic laminate layers for preservation, the company is still working to make a fully recyclable second-generation variant without plastic barriers.

The company has also designed shampoo bottles made from recyclable, recycled and compostable paper. The waterproof pump-bottles and labels are also made of paper.

L’Oreal recognizes that the world recycles more than 90% of paper, so they’re aiming to switch to paper packaging as a way of reducing industrial waste and making beauty more sustainable.

The innovative project, in partnership with Billerudkorsnäs, was launched in a bid to produce cosmetics bottles from paper. 


Paboco, a Danish company, also develops sustainable plastic packaging alternatives using paper from sustainable sources in the bottle’s composition.

The paper bottle is an opportunity for beauty brands to develop more sustainable, bio-sourced, and recyclable packaging and still meet similar quality and customer experience standards as its predecessor.

3D Hot Stamping and Silk Screen Printing on Paper


To give a more high-end impression to consumers, some beauty product brands use 3D hot stamping and silk screen printing.

3D hot stamping or 3DHS is a technique that partially coats a single component panel with a metallic, pigmented or patterned foil. This method offers significant cost advantages compared to the conventional hot stamping process.

The technique requires three components: a 3DHS die system, hot stamping foil and hot stamp machine. The foil has a high elasticity, which makes it easier to thermally shape and match the 3D geometry prior to stamping the package.  

Companies like TIMES Packaging provide 3D hot stamping, which avoids wrinkles on the package and gives designers more freedom of design. It’s also more environmentally friendly and versatile.

For example, the company produces gloss varnish carve gift boxes using gloss varnish, silk screen printing and 3D hot stamping. The slipcase packaging design effectively shows off the product in the packaging, and you can customize the boxes however you want.



Plus, the 3D hot stamping process is dry and solvent-free, meaning you save on costs because you won’t need a spraying tool or spray procedure.

Silk screen printing, on the other hand, is a hole printing method that uses a stencil to transfer an image onto a flat surface. Unlike hot stamping, this method uses ink and a fine mesh screen, and can also be used to print glasses and wood.

Silk screen printing also offers high image quality. Plus, it’s durable, adaptable to a wide range of substrate material, economical for large quantities of bottle printing and offers a variety of rich colors.

However, silkscreen printing creates a matte or flat image, so you won’t get the high shine hot stamping offers. It’s also expensive to use if you just want to print small quantities.


Wrapping Up


As sustainability attracts manufacturers towards paper packaging for consumer products, industrial packaging is slowly drifting away. Fortunately, the various innovations in paper packaging technology are designed to meet both corners while eliminating plastic to a great extent.

Top beauty brands are quickly and successfully winning the sentiments of the eco-conscious beauty consumer by opting for paper packaging solutions and technologies over plastic ones.

Ultimately, it’s not just a great way to reach buyers interested in more sustainable packaging options, but it goes a long way towards protecting the planet.

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