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Published November 23, 2020
Published November 23, 2020
Photo: via FusionPKG

The numbers quantifying the beauty industry’s contribution to the global plastic problem are astounding. According to ​Zero Waste Europe​, the beauty and personal care industry creates over 120 billion packaging units globally each year. And 91% of the plastic has NOT been recycled, according to National Geographic.

2020 will represent many things, but it also may be the tipping point for refillable concepts going from niche to mainstream. Numerous big beauty and personal care companies like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Amorepacific, and Beiersdorf have all launched trials for refillable concepts. These commitments enable and inspire responsible consumption through innovation in product, packaging, and distribution.

Refillable products, which address the multitude of issues with recycling, are a more likely unlock to solving the beauty industry’s plastic problem, but they require commercialized, accessible packaging options and a collective behavior shift by brands and consumers. Kantar indicates at least UK consumers are ready, reporting 60% of shoppers saying they will use a refill if it is available. Now, as an industry, we need to create the packaging and supply-chain requirements to really make refills mainstream.

“One of FusionPKG’s main focuses for sustainability is to provide actionable and compelling solutions that truly have an impact,” said Dan Campbell, Senior Packaging and Sustainability Engineer. “Beauty brands and retailers are pursuing refills as a sustainable solution, as refillable packaging reduces materials and minimizes waste throughout the packaging system’s life cycle. The package becomes an essential part of the experience and solution. Combining design and efficiency, we contribute to a sustainable, circular economy while still offering a truly beautiful and luxe product and consumer experience.”

Known for its innovation, FusionPKG has commercialized its award-winning Refillable Top Secret Compact, mitigating single-use plastic waste through form, function, and accessibility. The new patent-pending compact combines an eco-friendly approach, a unique design concept, and an elevated consumer experience. The compact features a cover that transforms into a slim brush, separating the brush and formula so that the bristles are protected from formula residue and the integrity and cleanliness of the brush is preserved. The compact was designed for customization, allowing the package to fit within a brand’s product language and aesthetic.

Once you’ve “hit pan,” it pops out easily so the pan can be recycled and replaced with the next formula of choice. The refillable aspect eliminates the consumer’s need to repurchase the compact and brush, therefore significantly reducing materials and ultimately increasing the longevity of the package, which reduces pollution caused by transportation and storage. The Refillable Top Secret Compact is available in PCR or a bio-based blend.

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) conducts one of the industry’s oldest and most prestigious design competitions that judges entries on package innovation, product protection, economics, performance, and environmental image. The Refillable Top Secret Compact was a 2020 AmeriStar Award winner in the cosmetic category.

FushionPKG’s product strategy as it relates to sustainable packaging has many facets, according to Alexander Kwapis, Vice President of Product Design and Development, “We have and are continuing to create packages that allow for a circular economy, packages that are made from PCR (post-consumer recycled content), bio-resin and other materials such as paper, metal and glass. We are also consistently reviewing ways to reduce the number of parts in a package and reduce the variety of materials in a package to improve recyclability.”