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(RE)SET for Cosmetics: Collaborative R&D for alternatives to plastic packaging

Katie Nichol

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(RE)SET for Cosmetics: Collaborative R&D for alternatives to plastic packaging

Launched by The (RE)SET Company in partnership with French cosmetics federation FEBEA, (RE)SET for Cosmetics aims to replace plastic cosmetics packaging with cellulose fiber. 

In France, cosmetics industry players have come together for a collaborative R&D program that aims to develop and industrialize cellulose fiber-based packaging as an alternative to plastics.

Spearheaded by circular economy consultancy The (RE)SET Company in partnership with French cosmetics association FEBEA, (RE)SET for Cosmetics brings together 12 industry players: Chanel, L’Oréal, L’Occitane Group, LVMH, Sisley, MS Beautilab, Biocodex, Eugene Perma, Laboratoires Expanscience, NAOS, Pierre Fabre and Group Rocher.

(RE)SET for Cosmetics says it is looking for “fiber based substrates, coatings, green chemistry, bio-polymers, industrial equipment, innovative processes… any solution that helps (re)think the cosmetic packaging and make functionalized cellulose fiber.” Innovators, startups, SMEs and R&D laboratories are encouraged to join the program.

The (RE)SET Company also worked with FEBEA on the latter’s Plastic Act, unveiled last year. A collective initiative, Plastic Act aims to reduce the cosmetics industry’s plastic packaging footprint by focusing on the 4Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and reincorporate.

As previously reported, by 2025, the Plastic Act aims to reach the following targets for beauty packaging:

  • Reduce the amount of plastic used by 15% (or 8,000 tons), by making eco-design widespread and opting for concentrated formulas or large format packs. R&D programs will look to develop plastic alternatives, such as lightweighted glass and paper/cardboard with a barrier function for cream formulas. The industry’s SPICE tool will be used to measure the environmental benefits of such substitutions.
     
  • Reuse 20% of plastic, mainly by developing 100% recyclable refills, including paper refills. Enabling companies of all sizes to propose a bulk offer by defining health and safety standards for filling containers in-store is another vector for change.
     
  • Reincorporate 10-25% of plastic into new packaging, by securing supply of recycled resins suitable for cosmetics. Fébea also envisages the creation of cosmetics-grade recycled resins, including PP and PE.
     
  • Recycle 100% of plastic packaging, by improving the effective recyclability of cosmetics packaging. This would mean simplifying and standardizing the plastic resins used, capturing small packaging to integrate them into the recycling stream, and processing skincare and make-up packs that do not use traditional resins, for example. Working on technical components and decoration to make them recyclable is also key. 

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