C&T packaging solutions: one step at a time

Sustainable packaging solutions are developing fast with new innovations and designs but the process still remains a complex path

The C&T sector is making significant inroads into using more sustainable packaging solutions, but the way forward is complex, says Kitty So

Sustainability may be a big concept, but the road to making personal care product packaging greener is made of small incremental steps that can both provide green marketing benefits and reduce costs.

Recent innovations include reducing the size of containers, while maintaining the volume of product they hold, along with innovations in using renewable resources and keeping packaging waste out of landfills.

The supply chain for C&T products is very complex, according to Paul Crawford, head of Regulatory and Environmental Services at the UK’s Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA). “What you get [with developments in sustainability] is usually a lot of incremental improvements rather than big, definitive solutions,” he explains.

Some of these improvements have involved companies developing innovations in smaller, lighter and less waste producing packaging. The compressed cans for deodorants launched by Unilever earlier this year in the UK are a good example. Manufactured for its women’s lines of Sure, Dove and Vaseline, the former 150ml cans will now be sold as 75ml units but contain the same amount of product inside. Unilever has re-engineered the spray system so that the smaller can requires less gas to deliver the same level of deodorant with each spray as the original size.

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