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GCI Reports From HBA

By: Jeff Falk and Leslie Benson
Posted: September 8, 2008
GCI at HBA 2008

GCI continued to expand its presence at HBA, hosting the second Fragrance Business Conference and marking the launch of its redesigned website.

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Update Sept. 10, 2:30pm EST

In 2007, representatives of Telles, a joint venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)—a large corn manufacturer—attended HBA in New York City to “put feelers out” regarding the beauty industry’s interest in bioplastics for cosmetic use. Kristin Taylor, business development manager, Telles, says the feedback she received was encouraging. It seems, she says, that big beauty brands were searching for ways to show customers their environmentally resourceful side—pursuing naturally-based packaging for personal care and cosmetics’ line extensions. The result came this year when Telles launched Mirel, a line of biobased, bioplastics made from renewable corn sugar. “This is an ideal material for compact cases, lipstick cases, mascara containers and lip balm tubes,” says Taylor. “It replaces the need for petroleum-based plastic packaging materials.”

Mirel mimics contemporary plastic in its look and feel—it has high gloss, a durable shell and can be reproduced in many shapes and colors—but it also has the ability to biodegrade in microbial environments like in soil, in home compost or in marine environments. The technology is even used in Target gift cards, and many molded brush handles, jars and caps, among other industries. However, Taylor says, Mirel’s usage possibilities in the cosmetics industry are just beginning. “The customer sees their cosmetics as an extension of themselves, so environmentally responsible cosmetic packaging increases a product’s appeal,” she says. By the second quarter of 2009, Taylor adds, Telles will open a fully functional, commercial plant for its biobased, bioplastics in Clinton, Iowa.

Update Sept. 10, 1pm EST

GCI magazine's assistant editor, Leslie Benson, met with representatives of Dow Corning Corporation and Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., during HBA in New York City to discuss their new partership. The businesses are launching a natural soy wax and soy wax blend using Nobel Prize-winning technology—part of their first generation of new, naturally-based products.

Update Sept. 10, 10:30am EST