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Pragmatic Approaches—Online Extras

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: June 30, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Funicelli: The beauty industry has always adhered to a decorative aesthetic. Packaging that pleases the eye and stirs the emotions is key in wooing the beauty product customer. Now environment-friendly innovations are also of interest, and the industry is more curious than ever before.

What many are learning is that today’s packaging advances offer exciting options. We think Unilustre and Ultralustre are “sweet spot” materials in that they have irresistible “bling” and are eco-friendly. A lot of educating still needs to be done about the environmental advantages of nonlaminated products. Some CPGs are ahead of the pack in their knowledge, and some are still sorting through the misconceptions and greenwashing. It’s important for the supplier to provide data that gives them the facts so they can make an informed decision.

Ormiston: I think the Aveda brand, from its inception, has been pretty good about recycling. They use recycled fibers in their packages, their closures a lot of times have recycled wood fibers from chopped up pallets and that sort of thing, soy based inks instead of hydrocarbon based inks, high recycled content to the aluminum cases they use, they anodize aluminum rather than metalizing a piece of plastic. It gives it an elegant look, but is also better for the environment. They’ve worked pretty well with using a fairly good percentage of what we call regrind plastic, which is plastic that’s been cut up and re-melted again, you can only do that to a certain percentage and they’ve been pretty good about that.

Some of the other brands, if you go look on the store shelves, are not being very conscious about their use of virgin materials; some of their packages don’t have a single bit of recycled material in them, its all the marketing. When today’s youth starts to get older and starts to purchase more, things will have to change. They are really going to demand it, even in the luxury goods like cosmetics; that there’s stewardship.

In the last year and a half, however, part of this has been driven by the European community regulations that have been enforced, that have just become enforceable, but I’m getting a lot more inquiries from customers that formerly were not on the cutting edge of this but are now saying, “Hey, we’re hearing more about this. What are you doing about it and how can we participate?” So I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel for companies that weren’t doing this before.