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Credo Beauty Introduces Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

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By 2023, Credo Beauty estimates that it will have replaced over one million virgin plastic containers with either high post-consumer resin (PCR) material or eusable and refillable components.

Credo Beauty has released its Sustainable Packaging Guidelines to its 135-plus brand partners. These guidelines are the latest chapter of The Credo Clean Standard that defines clean beauty and offers brands a comprehensive playbook on safety, sourcing, sustainability and more.

Special report: 3 Steps for Sustainable Packaging

Previously: Credo Beauty to Host First-Ever Clean Beauty Summit

An estimated 120 billion cosmetics packages are created annually, per the retailer, and the majority of beauty packaging is not reused or recycled in the United States.

The beauty industry’s carbon footprint, resource consumption and pollution is substantial—from the petrochemicals that go into component manufacturing, to packaging’s too-common fate as ocean waste, landfilled trash or toxic pollution from incineration.

With the introduction of the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, Credo will become the first beauty retailer to introduce a mandatory packaging guideline for all of its brand partners to follow. The policy will: 

  • Prohibit single-use masks and wipes by June 2021
  • Require brands to replace virgin petrochemical plastic with 50% or more recycled plastic, or another non-plastic material, by June 2023
  • Disallows brands from implying packaging is compostable or recyclable if it is not; brands must provide clear, accurate disposal instructions for consumers in an effort to help improve the overtaxed, contaminated recycling stream
  • Emphasize reusable packaging systems: durable containers the customer keeps and refills with new product, in packaging designed to be environmentally preferable

Credo’s prohibition of single use masks and wipes alone will prevent approximately 3,000 pounds of waste from being thrown away annually, according to the retailer.

By 2023, Credo estimates that it will have replaced more than 1 million virgin plastic containers with either high post-consumer resin (PCR) material or, ideally, reusable and refillable components.

Virgin plastic is reportedly more resource- and carbon-intensive than PCR plastic and, unfortunately, often isn’t recycled—even when customers put it in their recycling bins.

In addition to its progressive material goals and deadlines, Credo is encouraging a more thoughtful approach to choosing packaging and designing new products, giving preference to components that can be reused and refilled, like durable shampoo bottles with refill options and makeup compacts the customer can keep for years, simply buying the replacement colors to drop into the compacts.

“We are at a tipping point," said Mia Davis, Credo’s director of environmental and social responsibility. "It is time that companies make real, actionable commitments that will drastically reduce this sector’s impact on the climate, wildlife and communities. Credo’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines offer brands an approach—smart design, sustainable sourcing and optimized for end-of-life—as well as clear goals and deadlines for better material choices.”

“When we started Credo in 2015, we set out to change the beauty industry by leading the way, and by being transparent and candid,” Annie Jackson, Credo co-founder and COO, said. “Sustainability is really a journey, not a destination. And it is a partnership, because no one wins—not Credo or the brands, not the earth or the customer—if we don’t work together to change the story. It isn’t always easy and rarely is it cheap, but it is the right thing to do.”