L’Oréal pushes on with sustainable packaging goals using ‘disruptive’ enzymatic technology

Beauty giant will implement technology first for one of its brands in the Luxury Products division

L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty brand, is paving the way for other cosmetics giants to up their environmental credentials with a new recycled cosmetics bottle made using enzymatic technology.

Developed by biotech solutions provider Carbios, the new bottles will first be adopted by the company’s Luxury Products brand Biotherm.

While still a few years away from entering production, with a launch date of 2025, the technology is compatible with all types of PET plastics including clear, coloured, opaque and multilayer materials, making them infinitely recyclable.

L’Oréal first joined forces with the fellow French firm in 2017 to co-found a consortium that brought Carbios’ biotech capabilities to the beauty market on an industrial scale.

Since then, the centenarian beauty business is said to have been working with the team to develop the PET-derived enzymatic recycling technology.

“This is a promising innovation for the years to come that demonstrates our commitment to bring to market more environmentally friendly packaging and which is part of a circularity initiative begun more than 15 years ago,” said Jacques Playe, L’Oréal’s Packaging and Development Director.

Biotherm’s Global Brand President, Giulio Bergamaschi, said that the decision to launch the technology with Biotherm was synonymous with the brand’s ethos.

“Biotherm is a pioneer in eco-responsible cosmetics and has put sustainable packaging and waste reduction at the centre of its strategy,” he noted.

“We are delighted to be the first beauty brand to realise a completely recycled bottle using plastic from Carbios’ disruptive technology.”

The innovation is a step in the right direction for L’Oréal to achieve its 2025 sustainability goals, which has been marketed under its ‘L’Oréal for the Future’ mantra.

In four years time, Jean-Paul Agon’s group is aiming to adopt plastic packaging that is refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable across all of its brands, and by 2030 implement plastic packaging derived from recycled materials, or that are biosourced, ditching all virgin plastics from fossil fuels.

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