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What is the Most Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging?

The cosmetics industry has drastically changed due to the influence of the Internet and social media. Major celebrities to online influencers are promoting branded and handmade cosmetics, creating new business avenues to reach consumers. In 2019, the global cosmetics market reached a market size valued at $380.2 billion. While this decreased by 8% in 2020, it's predicted for the industry to reach a value of $463.5 billion by 2027.

Some top products in this market segment in 2020 include skincare (42% of the global market), hair care products (22%), and makeup (16%). With the beauty product market being so large, the industry also faces an issue in controlling waste. On a yearly average, the industry creates roughly 120 billion plastic packaging units as businesses are looking for sustainable cosmetic packaging alternatives.


The Importance of Sustainability in the Cosmetics Industry

Generating billions of plastics that enter the environment can have devastating impacts. Over 18 million acres of forests become lost due to the overwhelming amount of plastic packaging units that are created. In addition, energy and water consumption during manufacturing processes also cause immense stress to the environment. Lowering resource consumption while limiting the amount of waste that enters landfills and water sources can help further preserve the world for future generations.

One of the interesting things about the beauty industry is that consumers want sustainable cosmetic containers. A whopping 76% of people said that they would rather have containers or packaging that is reusable or recyclable. In addition, recent studies have shown that 51% of beauty product purchasers buy personal care products with eco-friendly packaging.

With over half of the consumer base wanting sustainable solutions and who base their purchasing decisions on companies taking the sustainability route, more companies may look to transition to custom eco-friendly cosmetic packaging and products.

Jars and Bottles

Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Packaging Options

Keep in mind that many cosmetics items may be offered in their original containers or have secondary packaging based on their application. For example, lipstick containers may be sold individually without exterior packaging, or they may be packaged as sets within the packaging. Whether a company is looking for sustainable cosmetic containers, sustainable skincare packaging, or both, there are several options out there to consider.


Sustainable skincare containers made from glass provide ways to offer both dry products, liquid products, and semi-liquid products to consumers. From skin cream jars to lip balm applicators, this material option allows a company to offer sustainable solutions in a variety of sizes and shapes. Wide round mouth jars allow people to apply skin lotions, creams, and other beauty products to their skin. A company may also consider glass containers with metal roller balls to allow for skin applications, or glass dropper containers when administering perfumes and diluted essential oils.

Glass containers and packaging are 100% recyclable. They are also reusable and refillable. A great advantage with glass is that the container can be cleaned entirely without leaving any remaining residue or smell as it does not absorb the product that is inside. While glass can be fragile and break, this sustainable cosmetic packaging solution allows the product itself to be showcased and an enticement to consumers while maintaining the product's quality.



Metal containers have very similar benefits to glass. A more durable alternative, metal materials are also 100% recyclable. They can be processed again and again without losing their durability or strength. Metal packaging can be used for a wide range of beauty products such as powders, lotions, creams, and balms. They may come in various sizes with round openings to allow for easy application.

While metal materials do not allow consumers to see the product inside, they do allow for a variety of decorating options. Colors can be added during processing to color code metal containers based on the products offered if a business offers multiple skincare lines. Labels and graphics can also be added to the outside of the container.



Often harder containers are used in the cosmetics and beauty industry, such as metal, glass, and recycled plastics. However, while these containers may hold the product itself, the product may need additional packaging for shipping purposes. Fiber can also be used as sustainable skincare packaging. Fiber packaging has gained popularity with personal care businesses because it is lightweight, durable, and cost-efficient.

Fiber may be made from recycled paper or natural products such as wood pulp, bamboo, and wheat straw. Paper packaging for cosmetics and bamboo cosmetic packaging is manufactured by layering materials together. By layering the materials, the container and packaging have increased strength and durability. Fiber packaging is often used for dry materials such as powders, deodorants, and lip balms. This material is 100% recyclable and allows for flexible decoration designs for branding purposes.


Selecting Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging Solutions

When deciding on the right containers and packaging, there are certain factors to consider. Think about the types of products placed in the container, how the products are transported, how the consumers apply the products, and what will happen to the container or packaging after the product is used. These questions may help you narrow down your choices, such as needing wide-mouthed containers so hands can reach inside or a container that needs to have some type of applicator. Then consider what the customer will do with the packaging or container after use.

A business may offer eco-friendly cosmetic packaging or containers that the consumer will keep and use throughout their home. The consumer may decide to store objects in the container or place in gifts to offer it to friends and family members. Another eco-friendly option is to consider biodegradable packaging. Biodegradable packaging can re-enter the environment and safely break down in the soil without leaving behind any toxic contaminants. This option reduces waste while sustaining the environment.

Also, take into consideration how the product may interact with the container. For example, certain chemicals and chemistries in cosmetics may be negatively impacted when placed within certain metal containers. You may want to select a type of metal that is non-reactive to the product or decide to place it in a special lining or metal surface finishing that will act as a barrier between the product and the metal container's inner sides.


Paramount Global -- Your First Choice in Sustainable Packaging for Beauty, Skincare, and Cosmetics

There are many considerations for companies who are looking for sustainable cosmetic containers and packaging. Here at Paramount Global, we offer integrated packaging and supply solutions for companies looking to make sustainable manufacturing operations. Our supply chain solutions include sustainable beauty and skincare packaging made from materials such as metal, glass, fiber, and plastic resins. Our company offers both stock containers as well as custom containers and packaging for products that require special sizes and dimensions.

Not only does Paramount Global offer packaging solutions, but we are also a full supply chain solutions expert. We provide global product sourcing, inventory management, and logistical strategies for a cost-effective end-to-end supply chain service. Our company can design, procure, warehouse, and distribute sustainable containers and packaging for your cosmetic products.

As more people are getting into the cosmetics market, seeking out sustainable packaging solutions allows them to be competitive in this growing industry while pleasing consumers. Learn more about our packaging and container solutions here at Paramount Global.

established in 1976

For over forty years, Paramount has been delivering perfectly integrated packaging and supply chain solutions.