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A Natural Fit

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: October 26, 2006, from the October 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 5

The caveat, points out Setzfand, is that PLA breaks down at temperatures above 105ºF, which is too low for use in products that are not transported and stored in temperature controlled environments. Setzfand says that Zia utilizes recycled PET when it is not able to use PLA—in its Natural Microdermabrasion Kit for example.

Beyond choices of environmentally sound materials, natural products and ingredients themselves create unique challenges for packaging.

“Primary packaging poses more challenges than secondary packaging since it is in contact with the formulation,” said Setzfand. “Packaging stability can be difficult to achieve with recycled content as ingredients may react negatively with the package. Essential oils and natural extracts commonly affect package stability, even in non-natural materials.”

Secondary packaging that utilizes recycled content requires special consideration as well. Because recycled paper is more absorbent, printing can be a challenge to avoid compromising artwork.

Setzfand notes that the availability of packaging materials derived from recycled content and renewable sources will increase as more consumers demand these materials. This also should serve to keep costs in check, and allow packaging to flourish with the naturals market.