Luxury cosmetics go green by recycling their packaging

“The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) and specialty materials provider Eastman have announced a global memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the companies say will enable ELC to take significant strides towards its 2025 sustainable packaging goals.” - PackagingEurope

The Mission

This is the first agreement between Eastman and a major cosmetic conglomerate and their aim is to increase the use of recycled/recyclable plastics in luxury beauty packaging. ELC, and their catalogue of brands will begin integrating Eastman’s packaging solutions by using their molecular recycling technology with up to 100% certified recycled material.

Eastman Renew Resins - What Is It And How Will It Help?

Eastman’s Resins are a newly introduced line of molecularly recycled polyesters produced via Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling. These sustainable resins, which include Eastman Cristal™ Renew and Eastman Tritan™ Renew, are made using up to 100% International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified recycled content and are described as chemically indistinguishable from their legacy counterparts. The recycled content is created by issuing the recycled waste plastic to Eastman Renew resins using a mass balance process certified by ISCC.They demonstrate the same high-quality and processing ease of virgin polymers with the clarity, luster, color compatibility and durability cosmetics packaging demands—while providing premium recycled content.

The Change In Cosmetic Packaging

Introducing this recycled material into the cosmetic sector will reduce the use of virgin plastics and redefine the beauty industries understanding of luxury, a concept fixated on exclusive material and ingredients. By injecting sustainable and recycled material into the mainstream, we will see an increase in the use of sustainable options unmoored by traditional ideas of luxury.

The Recycling Technologies

"Eastman's portfolio of molecularly recycled polyesters demonstrates the same high-quality and processing ease of virgin polymers with the clarity, luster, colour compatibility and durability cosmetics packaging demands—while providing premium recycled content. Our suppliers play a critical role in helping The Estée Lauder Companies continue to move the needle and think innovatively about sustainability,” said Roberto Magana, senior vice president and chief procurement officer for The Estée Lauder Companies. “Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies and portfolio of Renew products will help drive the achievement of the company’s sustainable packaging goals while maintaining the high-quality aesthetic, safety and performance of our prestige products. We look forward to collaborating with them.”

Benefits Of Using Recycled Plastics

Plastic waste has a major effect on our current climate crises, as the pollution created in landfills damages our environment and creates imbalances in our atmosphere. By the cosmetic sector taking interest in creating greener and sustainable choices, we can look to improving the effects of our waste management by improving our techniques. The MOU will further ELC’s focus on its sustainable packaging goals. The company has committed that, by 2025, 75-100% of its packaging will be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable. Additionally, the company will increase the amount of post-consumer recycled material in its packaging by up to 50% in the same year.

Thoughts From The Team

“We are proud to partner with The Estée Lauder Companies, one of the world’s most iconic prestige beauty companies and a true leader in sustainability,” said Scott Ballard, vice president and general manager for Eastman’s specialty plastics division. “We are excited to help them achieve their ambitious sustainability goals right now. Together, we can provide a shining example of what is possible today—not years in the future—to advance the circular economy.”