How To Get the Most Out of Biodegradable and Compostable Cosmetic Packaging

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How To Get the Most Out of Biodegradable and Compostable Cosmetic Packaging

Whether you are seeking to be innovative and creative with your cosmetic brand retail packaging or need a solution that simply gets the job done, there is one key facet that should not be neglected: sustainability.  A big fear that packaging procurers like you may have is that the cost, aesthetic, and quality of sustainable…

How To Get the Most Out of Biodegradable and Compostable Cosmetic Packaging

Whether you are seeking to be innovative and creative with your cosmetic brand retail packaging or need a solution that simply gets the job done, there is one key facet that should not be neglected: sustainability

A big fear that packaging procurers like you may have is that the cost, aesthetic, and quality of sustainable packaging options may not deliver what you – or your consumers – desire. Fear not, though, those cute packaging bags, trendy shipping boxes, and elaborate PR packages that you dream up can be created with biodegradable or compostable packaging materials. Keep reading to find out how.

 

What Does “Biodegradable and Compostable” Mean In Packaging?

 

While similar in the way they minimize waste, biodegradable and compostable packaging have some key differences. The distinction lies in the materials the component is made of, how they break down during decomposition, and what is left afterward. Both biodegradable and compostable packaging cannot be recycled and need to be processed through an environment that facilitates decomposition. All compostable materials are biodegradable. However, not all biodegradable materials are compostable. 

Biodegradable packaging components break down when exposed to light, moisture, microbes, and air. They are not considered compostable because they take longer to decompose – typically a lifetime. These materials break down into water, minerals, biomass (organic matter), and carbon dioxide. By contrast, compostable packaging materials break down into carbon dioxide and biomass within six to 12 weeks and will do so in an environment made explicitly for composting. 

Overall, both biodegradable and compostable packaging components are great for minimizing waste and can be a selling point for your brand, which we will discuss next.

The Big Picture: Sustainable Cosmetic Retail Packaging Sells

The sustainability movement is making waves in every industry – especially retail. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and are looking for ways to minimize it. This awareness, coupled with the fact that people are more likely to buy from (and spend more with) a brand that does its part to take care of the environment, makes sustainable retail packaging a no-brainer. 

Eco-friendly cosmetic packaging is a key selling point with consumers that you can use as a brand differentiator in your marketing strategy. Plus, it reduces waste, which is better for the world we live in.

 

Popular Biodegradable/Compostable Packaging Materials

Thankfully, with the right packaging service provider, you can create biodegradable or compostable paper and plastic packaging. Biodegradable components can be made from a few different materials:

 

 

    • PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate). This material can be used to replace traditional plastic materials to create poly mailer bags. It is a polymer that is both biodegradable and compostable. 
    • PLA (polylactic acid). Made from sustainable, renewable resources like sugar cane and corn starch, PLA is great for replacing petroleum-based plastics. PLA and PBAT can be used together to create a custom packaging component.
    • Natural (unbleached) kraft paper and recycled paper. Kraft paper is a compostable packaging material that you can use for your paper shopping bags, paper mailers and pouches, corrugated boxes, and shipping box inserts.
    • Untreated wood. Great for a PR package or gift box, untreated wood is a biodegradable packaging solution that can also be reused and repurposed. Either way, this component can minimize the waste going into landfills.
    • Seed paper. This biodegradable paper is infused with seeds that, upon “planting” will decompose and leave behind plants. Use this for your printed materials, like those product brochures or thank you notes that you give with each purchase.

 

Because your biodegradable or compostable packaging becomes one with nature, you want to use eco-friendly adhesives, like heat seal and hot melt adhesives, and soy- or water-based inks. Use accessories – like hemp-based twine, biodegradable tissue paper, and kraft void fill – to create a completely biodegradable or compostable package.

What Is The Catch?

As a beauty and cosmetics retailer, you have your fair share of industry trends to keep up with – from influencer marketing to networking with stores to managing your team and products. Working with a reputable, end-to-end packaging service provider that has the capabilities, expertise, and collaborative spirit to create these components on time and within budget can take one more (very important) thing off your plate. 

At Edge2Edge, we have a depth and breadth of experience that has allowed us to work with some of the biggest brands in the beauty and cosmetics space. With a streamlined sampling process, extensive quality assurance, and a dedicated team of design consultants, we are here to help you level up your green packaging strategy.

Ready to get started? Contact our advisors today to create yours.