Refillable products within the beauty industry isn’t a new concept. In the past we have been offered to purchase hard plastic products in large single use sizes with the option to replenish with a reusable, smaller bottle – which from a price point was attractive to the consumer as the larger size was cheaper. However, this trend was a passive nod to “recycling”. The same amount of effort and resources were required in the manufacturing and delivery of hard plastic for those larger sized and smaller reusable packaging options.

As a global community we are becoming more educated about how we use or reuse plastics, especially single use plastics and their impact on the environment. It is a growing concern about the harmful impact many synthetic plastics and their manufacturing process has on the planet.

Environmentally conscious consumers are demanding beauty brands to rethink the way they offer their products and one trend to emerge from within the industry is using sustainable, refillable packaging that pose minimal risk to the planet. This solution, not only reduces the use of single use plastics, but the waste and carbon footprint. A beauty brand should already be thinking about their effort in reducing plastic, wastage and pollution as the more educated and eco conscious consumers become, the higher the risk in losing many customers

Sustainable packaging increases the life cycle of a product and reduces the ecological footprint as they have been produced, supplied and used in a way that doesn’t contribute to environmental degradation. Essentially it helps producers reduce their carbon footprint through their manufacturing process and when consumers receive their products, they now have a choice to be either reused or recycled.
Over time, technology has developed, to provide us with options to reduce the use of hard plastic and increase their sustainable footprint, many beauty brands have adapted to use biodegradable refillable packaging, large flexible pouches and some have even introduced in-store filing stations. Many high profile beauty companies have set high targets to change their packaging to more sustainable options.

These new concepts and targets, not only achieve environmental sustainability, but are more cost effective. Cost effective for the brand, but essentially for the consumer. Offering reusable, biodegradable packaging for refilling or the ability to bring your own reusable container into a store and providing a discount is only one way to entice consumers to change their behaviour.

Education is key in helping the consumer transition to better ways of purchasing their favourite products. Brands can make consumers aware of how they can refill and reuse packaging, from purchasing environmentally friendly pouches, to bringing their own refillable container in store. The process for consumers must be clean, clear and concise. In other words, brands should aim to make refilling easy, convenient and accessible to all users.

As a brand, it is in your best interest for your business to be ahead of the game in sustainability and not just sit on the sidelines watching other brands tackle the issue. This trend is now mainstream, consumers demand better packaging options and will closely follow your brand ethics – in the world of social media, changing or not changing the way you package your products could hurt your bottom line as customers demand for better practices within the beauty industry.