With the climate at risk, the zero waste movement took. Everyone from universities to cities is trying to cut down on their waste. Consumer brands are embarking on redesigning their packaging, moving from plastic and paper to aluminum. And while we generally think of beer, staple foods, and pet foods wrapped in metal, foil wrappers appear in surprising categories like beauty. In fact, this enduring adoption has given beauty brands a new look.
Herbal hair care brand Eva NYC offers several sizes of custom shaped aluminum bottles for its shampoos, conditioners, primers, hair and body mists and other styling products. Unilever’s new line, Love Beauty and Planet, includes reusable 16-ounce aluminum bottles, some of its shampoos and conditioners, something that the company said reduced plastic by 56.7% over one year. In addition, Colgate-Palmolive just launched aluminum containers for its hand soap. within the framework of its 2025 sustainable development goals. REN Clean Skincare recently debuted a zero waste aluminum tube. So why this sudden boom? There are several reasons.
Consumers Demand Sustainable Packaging
If brands want to be successful, adopting green practices is a must. Consumers increasingly see themselves as “environmentally conscious” and expect businesses to support their lifestyle choices by offering environmentally friendly products packaged in sustainable materials. In fact, new data from a sustainable metal packaging company Trivium Packaging 2021 Buying Global Buying Green Report found that 67% of consumers identify as environmentally conscious, with 83% of young consumers willing to pay more for products in sustainable packaging.
“Customers are looking for the most sustainable packaging solutions and see huge potential in metal,” says Michael Mapes, CEO of Trivium. “Sustainability is a topic that energizes people and sparks interesting discussions about ‘purpose’. ”
The demand is so high, Eva NYC, who works with Trivium, has seen a 100% peak orders within the first two weeks of the launch of the new packaging. And another client of Trivium – the Hand in Hand hand soap company – saw a 1000% sales growth year over year.
Aluminum is Infinitely Recyclable
Recycling has been around for decades. But brands (and the planet) realize that traditional reuse of materials isn’t the best course of action. Instead, real sustainability is circularity; this is where metal packaging excels.
“Aluminum and other metal packaging is 100% endlessly recyclable,” says Chas Aylsworth, director of business development for Trivium. “In terms of durability, you often hear about the life cycle of a substrate from cradle to grave, from the time it was first produced until it can no longer be used. The metal packaging is different. Its life cycle is from cradle to cradle; it can be recycled over and over again without losing any of its inherent properties.
Incredibly, an aluminum bottle can be recycled and turned into a new bottle in as little as 60 days. Ultimately, it contributes to brands’ sustainability goals of “reduce, reuse and recycle” in one package.
The Ingredients Are Better Preserved
Besides being better for the environment, the use of metal packaging is also ideal for preserving beauty ingredients. Food and beverage cans are of obvious value to consumers as they are very effective in preserving their contents without affecting flavor. Beauty brands are now seeing these benefits as well.
Aluminum bottles excel over other substrates at preserving beauty formulas due to their barrier properties and durability. They completely block UV light which can deteriorate formulations and are resistant to moisture and oxygen permeation, which can dry out or damage many beauty products.
“The strengths of aluminum packaging provide brands with a durable bottle that won’t rust, inside or out, and won’t crack while remaining infinitely reusable and recyclable,” says Aylsworth. “The beauty industry understands the need for sustainability in the packaging as well as in the ingredients of their products.
The Brand Image Becomes Premium
From a design point of view, the aluminum bottle is a directly printable blank canvas. This is good for two reasons: it eliminates the requirement for a label. Second, it allows brands to use their packaging as a decorative addition to the home for these refillable systems.
When brands use aluminum packaging, there is no need to add an additional label to the bottle, which would require additional materials and increased complexity in the recycling process, ”says Aylsworth. “Printing the graphics directly onto the aluminum packaging has no impact on the recycling of the empty used aluminum container. ”
A variety of beauty products, from soaps to perfumes, are placed in foil packaging for this reason. The use of the aluminum bottle tackles the three major market trends of premiumization, durability and convenience.
Beyond beverages and beauty, other emerging categories are starting to embrace aluminum packaging. “We are seeing the consumer health industry begin to embrace aluminum packaging for a variety of items such as vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter, topical and liquid medications,” Aylsworth said. “Consumers are looking to brands to drive sustainability in their package offerings while retaining the convenience they want and value. “