The Sustainable Makeover of Beauty Packaging

Posted by AMC Global on Jul 24, 2023 10:54:10 AM

The beauty industry continues to undergo transformations in packaging practices, especially on the sustainability front. The article “Beauty packaging gets a makeover with growing number of refillable options” in Retail Dive, explores this trend and the impact on consumer behavior. This shift, driven by the industry's acknowledgment of its contribution to environmental waste and the desire to offer more sustainable choices, is a complex one. The success of this rise in refillable options relies on consumer adoption which, the article claims, remains uncertain.

AMC Beauty Pack Recycle

Sustainability Trends & Beauty Products

At AMC Global, we have conducted original research looking at sustainability and packaging—and recently wrote about the research for Beauty Packaging magazine exploring “How Sustainability Initiatives Impact the Beauty and Personal Care Industry.” Refillable and reusable is still hit or miss in consumer studies on formats. The best way to position packaging innovations for success—test!


What Brands are Doing

Some beauty pack examples highlighted in the Retail Dive article include bareLUXE Skincare offering biodegradable jars and refills via recyclable pouches, aligning their brand values with environmental activism. The Body Shop's refillable aluminum lipstick tube, which combines a plastic twist-up tube with an aluminum case, is also discussed. Other beauty brands across different price ranges are also experimenting with refillable options, demonstrating a widespread interest in sustainable packaging.


Barriers To Refillable Beauty Packs

Consumer convenience remains a barrier to widespread adoption of refill programs, and the beauty industry faces unique challenges due to the diverse materials used in its products. Many components are not easily recyclable, and multiple layers of packaging further complicate recycling efforts. Despite these obstacles, there are promising alternatives such as fiber-based trays or aluminum packaging, which can be recycled repeatedly and recovered by material facilities.


Communicating About Sustainability

When beauty brands make a change to packaging, one key challenge is finding the correct messaging and communication about these changes. We talk about this from a macro-perspective in our Greenbook article, “Strike an ESG Balance that Works for you and your Target Audience.” Consumers need to understand the change, without feeling greenwashed, and have reasons to adopt—especially if the change impacts price or convenience.


The growing interest in refillable beauty packaging signifies a positive change in the industry's approach to sustainability. By prioritizing reusable and eco-friendly options, brands can reduce their environmental impact and meet the evolving preferences of conscientious consumers. And to make sure these options fit with consumer demands and desires, you need to gain insights through the right market research solutions. Reach out to our team to get started and learn more!