Eco-friendly packaging: there are beginnings and end

Urban solid waste has become a growing environmental threat. The United States estimated that the United States had created more than 236 million tons of municipal solid waste in the year before. Among them, 35.2% was paper, 11.3% was plastic, and 8% was metal. , 5.3% is glass. Although 30% of them can be recycled or composted, most of the waste is still buried. The recent World Bank report also shows that China has recently surpassed the United States as the world's largest producer of municipal solid waste. In 2004, only about 19,000 million tons of municipal solid waste was produced in urban areas of China. By 2030, this number is expected to increase to at least 480 million tons.

This undoubtedly puts pressure on today's packaging manufacturers. For them, recycling is actually a process that starts and ends. The packaging is usually produced from the original material, completed its duties, and then buried. However, more and more people in the industry believe that this is not a good method. The environmentally friendly approach is that all packaging materials are purchased reliably, designed to be effective and safe, meet market standards and costs, completely produced using renewable energy, and once used up, can be efficiently recycled to provide valuable resources. .

This goal is not out of reach. In fact, whether for voluntary or regulatory reasons, many beauty brands are adopting packaging policies that promote good environmental protection. As technology advances, real recycling infrastructure may be realized. By then, a number of beauty marketing efforts will be working towards the goal of increasingly successful sustainable packaging.

Using post-consumer recycled materials
The use of recycled materials for packaging after consumption is growing. In the United States, the driving force behind numerous such environmental projects comes from California's legislation SB235 and SB1729. California has passed legislation to implement sustainable packaging. Its hard plastic packaging container method is aimed at increasing the use of recycled plastics and minimizing the amount of plastic that is disposed of. It is reported that hard plastic packaging containers that comply with regulations include those that are made from at least 25% post-consumer resin; resources are reduced by 10%; reused or filled at least five times; or have a 45% recovery rate if they are Brand or specific type of hard plastic packaging container words.

John Delfausse, vice president of packaging development for the Aveda brand of Estée Lauder Companies in the United States, believes that they are not far away from this goal. Aveda is already a leader in the field of sustainable packaging. One way to reduce its environmental impact is to use recycled materials after consumption. Bottles, papers, and boxes that have been used by consumers, collected, and recycled are collectively referred to as "post-consumer." It is different from "pre-consumer" because these materials have completed their original functions.

Three years ago, Aveda launched Uruku Lipstick, keeping its promise - passion for environmentally friendly packaging, and becoming a model for post-consumer recycled packaging. Delfausse said Aveda prefers to use polyethylene in its packaging because it has the least environmental impact during its use. However, the processing of the lipstick box is not beneficial to this resin. In order to minimize the impact on the environment, Aveda seeks to use high levels of material that can be recycled after consumption.

“In the case where styrene may be a raw material that we don’t use often, if we can use a large amount of recycled styrene after consumption, then we do not affect the environment. We have already adopted materials that may be buried and recycled. It is also used in lipstick. We can get 88% of high-impact, recycled styrene material for consumption in the Uruku project," he said. The secondary packaging of Uruku Lipstick is a clamshell package made from pulp molded from 100% recycled newsprint. The sleeve for final finishing is also produced from 100% recycled cardboard.

Wise choice of materials
In keeping with another trend of sustainable packaging, brand marketers are also sourcing materials that have minimal environmental impact during use. In plastics, two very popular resins are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polylactic acid (PLA). However, due to the adverse effects of PVC on human health and the environment, the industry has begun to stay away from it. Some experts pointed out that if PVC does not add toxic additives, then it will be useless, but these additives will make the PVC product itself harmful to consumers. Since many of the toxic additives used to soften or stabilize PVC may contaminate recycled batches, many companies are concerned that PVC packaging materials cannot be effectively recycled. It is the main source of dioxin, the most powerful chemical.

Many companies are phase out PVC. For example, Limited Brand, completed the previous year to gradually reduce the role of PVC in its Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret personal care products, converting to polyethylene terephthalate (PET, PETE). Johnson & Johnson is also ending the application of this resin. According to the relevant person in charge of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, by the end of 2007, the company will gradually stop all PVC in its primary, secondary and tertiary product packaging. Johnson's resins used to replace PVC include PETE, PETG (polyethylene terephthalate) and PLA.

Plastic from corn
Not all resins give a negative impression. Polylactic acid (PLA), a resin Johnson & Johnson will use to replace PVC, has received more and more attention. The raw material for PLA is feed corn, which is renewable every year. According to experts, the petroleum fuel needed for this production process is 65% lower than traditional plastics. It also breaks down in composting equipment, and the cost is competitive with most petroleum-based plastics.

PLA can be injection molded and injection blow molded. It can also be used in other areas such as wipes, labels and shrink sleeves. NatureWorks began producing PLA in 2001. Although PLA is still in its infancy, many people still believe it will gain more attention because of its application in beauty products. However, PLA is not the only polymer derived from biological materials. Archer Daniels Midland recently announced its acquisition of Groupe Lysac and its intention to develop products based on biological raw materials.

ADM will produce PHA biodegradable plastics. Its main raw material is sugar derived from corn. According to the company's related technical person in charge, PHA polymers are copolymers, which allows their properties to be modified according to different applications. PHAs containing low levels of comonomer are harder than PLA, but with higher levels of comonomer they become softer and more elastic.

Always managed
Reducing production sources is another way for the company to develop in a sustainable direction. There are ways to do this: use less raw materials or reduce the amount of raw materials used. The latter also improves the recycling of the package. Brand marketer Burt's Bees has saved raw materials in its marketing campaigns. “When we introduce a new product, we avoid printing the entire catalog. Instead, we choose to insert the page. This way every time we introduce a new product, our customers can understand the latest development without having to discard the catalog,” said the company's director. Introduction said.

According to the relevant person in charge of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, there are two possible ways to start and end with the cradle to cradle framework. For example, the technology system from the source to the origin should be the recycling of paper or plastic. They are engineering recovery systems in which raw materials are kept in continuous circulation. Biosystems, from birthplace to the place of origin, refer to the use of biological materials and their recovery through composting or other biological mechanisms.

In order to be consistent with the origin to the origin system, the brand wants to design products that are easy to recycle. For example, in October of last year, Burt's Bees introduced cucumber and chamomile, lavender, and grapefruit in a recyclable aluminum container. If the PLA resin can find a way out in the beauty packaging industry, then the birthplace to the birthplace of the biological system is also useful, because the corn-based resin can be composted.

Another way to start and finish is the controversial composting of environmental benefits. Compost facilities burn waste, reduce the amount of landfilled and generate electricity. Although it does replace fossil fuels with energy from waste, incineration is not part of sustainable development from the standpoint of raw materials. For petroleum-derived plastics, it was actually used once and was incinerated.

Sustainability is still challenging
Technology is constantly improving, and environmental awareness is growing. However, for the implementation of environmentally friendly packaging, there are still difficulties that need to be overcome. Infrastructure is also a problem for some packaging materials. Each type of raw material has different needs and the infrastructure needs to change. For example, corrugated paper can be recycled in high proportions because the properties of this material have been mastered. There are different situations for other packaging materials, such as PET plastics. Although there is a huge potential, recycling is a big problem because its recovery rate is very low.

Using recycled plastics after consumption can also create technical problems, though

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