Let’s say it out loud: Plastic is problematic! Period. However, the fact remains that approximately 8 million tonnes of it are dumped in the oceans every year! While the beauty industry has finally paid heed to being responsible for the environment, a lot needs to be done to curtail its contribution to plastic waste. Many personal care brands are coming up with zero-waste, sustainable packaging, but recycling isn’t as easy as we think it is. Therefore, refillable products have been doing the round as a silver lining amid the plastic black hole. Let’s find out how promising is the refill movement and how is it environmentally sustainable?
Did you know that only seven percent of plastic waste is repurposed? The rest of it all finds a permanent abode in ocean beds, while adversely affecting the marine ecosystem. Truth be told, it’s the consumer’s world; we are consuming too much and recycling too little, and to top that there are way too many confusing norms around reprocessing plastic.
Enter Refillable Products
Refillable products are an excellent way to curb the cycle of consumption, waste, and recycling. This concept started causing ripples a couple of years back, but it's on the verge of permeating the mainstream. In a bid to be planet-friendly and plastic positive, the bigger names in the beauty industry have jumped the bandwagon and are popularizing sustainable packaging.
Refilling toiletries and beauty products isn’t a new concept, however, it was only relegated to handwashes, body washes, shampoos, etc. These days, we can find refillable makeup, skincare, haircare, body care, and much more! Brands are now investing in primary packaging so that it is sturdy and visually pleasing enough to last for a long time.
Apart from beauty products, you can now find fragrances in refillable packaging as well. Most perfume brands have alluring packaging, which is hard to throw away. There are so many iconic perfumes that have a signature packaging, therefore, it only fitting for perfume brands to come up with refills that are environmentally sustainable, and comparatively reasonable than the bottled ones. Coming to the makeup realm, we can find refillable lipsticks, reusable compacts, and liquid makeup entering the market.
The eco-conscious Gen-Z is more than happy to back this movement, as the sales of refillable products have shot up. Some bigger names like the Body Shop and Loccitane, have set up refill stations, where consumers can get their empties refilled with their favorite products.
It’s been more than a hundred years since plastic was created and its consumption has pervaded all aspects of human life. The beauty industry’s struggle with single-use plastic has led to a lot of backlashes. Woke consumers refrain purchasing from brands that are still not paying heed to the needs of the environment.
The problem with the beauty industry is, that there are new launches left right, and center! From glitter eyeshadows to powder matte lipsticks, to glitter face masks, brands are throwing new products in a way that will put fast fashion to shame. So, the need for recyclable or biodegradable, packaging has become inevitable!
Good For The Planet And The Brand
A rather overlooked factor would be that refillable products will make consumers loyal to one brand. This also means that brands need to improvise on their formulas to create value for refills. Just being sustainable will not cut it, the product needs to be good enough to be repurchased or the whole exercise is going to be futile. Plus, educating people about the concept of green products is also a responsibility that vests on the brand. Consumer behaviour will change, only when sustainable options are better than the ones that are not.
Re-Inventing The Wheel
Personal care products are going through a paradigm shift. The concept of Green Beauty has permeated the marketing walls enough for all types of brands to get up and take notice. From organic deodorants to shampoo bars to mouthwash tablets, brands are coming up with all things unique and creative to reduce single plastic use.
Refillable products are certainly the future. The idea of meaningfully reducing waste has led to the birth of this concept. Even luxury brands that have been infamous for their over-the-top excessive packaging are slowly inclining towards refillable products. This is a welcome change, as it gets the ball rolling and makes sustainability an aspiration because truth be told, bigger brands set benchmarks.
With so much being spoken about transparency in the beauty industry, it is ideal for brands to make innovations that will reduce carbon footprints. If a person uses 1 bottle of deodorant every month, a refillable deodorant will cut down on the use of 11 plastic containers. As explained, the brands are on board with the concept of refillable beauty products but it is the consumer who can drive the change.
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