Since the invention of plastic, it has been the most popular and the most widely used packaging material in the cosmetic industry. The popularity of plastic has never waned, and even today, we can see cosmetics in beautiful and visually appealing plastic packaging adorning the shelves of shops. However when we look back we can see that the kind of plastic used now in the cosmetic packaging industry is very much different from the one used in the past. Let us look at the changing face of plastic in the cosmetic packaging industry.When plastic first made its appearance in cosmetic packaging, it immediately gained wide acceptance because of its vast benefits when compared to other forms of packaging, especially paper and glass. It could deliver where others failed, and this fact contributed to its immense importance in the cosmetic packaging industry.
However, as the years passed and new players entered the cosmetic arena, changing the perception of beauty in the minds of people, it led to the manufacture of a wide variety of different make-up, perfumes, skin care, body care, and hair care products. As people became more and more conscious about their looks and appearance, the number of brands also multiplied. On one hand it contributed to the growth of the cosmetic industry into a booming industry worth billions of dollars, on the other hand it led to the piling up of vast amounts of empty plastic containers, bottles, cans, pumps, dispensers, droppers, jars, tottles, and tubes. The piling up of trash in landfills brought into the limelight the issue of environmental degradation and stressed the need for more stringent measures to contain the menace of plastics.
The Plastic Menace
The factors that contribute to the durability of plastic are also behind its resistance to degrading naturally. The molecular bonds in plastics make it resistant to the natural processes of degradation. Hence, it takes hundreds of years to decompose thereby causing immense damage to the eco-system.
Eco-Friendly Plastic Cosmetic Packaging
As people became aware of the role of plastic in environmental degradation, they decided to take some concrete steps to prevent further degradation. They insisted on green packaging and denounced brands that used plastic materials for packaging. Realizing the changing preferences of shoppers, cosmetic manufacturers and cosmetic packaging manufacturers took measures to make the products as well as packaging as eco-friendly as possible.
Hence, instead of non-degradable plastic containers, manufacturers started using recyclable, recycled, and non-polluting plastics that use up very little energy in their manufacturing for packaging cosmetic products. PET, or Polyethylene terephthalate, PP, or Polypropylene, and PEHD, or Polyethylene high-density, became the most preferred bio-degradable plastic materials for packaging cosmetics.However, efforts on the part of cosmetic packaging manufacturers did not end here. Innovations are still continuing, with the latest being grass-based polypropylene lotion pumps and containers and with more to come in the near future