The global market for natural and organic cosmetics is flourishing as never before with Europe as the main market worldwide. A critical factor for the success of natural cosmetics is the ability to distinguish them from the conventional brands usually found in shops. This can be achieved by using packaging that has the same environmental credentials as the product it contains. Continued use of non-biodegradable packaging is one of the main environmental impacts caused by the cosmetics industry. Hence, packaging has become a central focus for waste reduction efforts, requiring proper waste management to protect the environment and human health. This challenge was taken up by the EU-funded project BIOBEAUTY (Development of a bioplastic package for organic cosmetic creams), which developed packaging based on environmentally friendly biomaterials such as a poly(lactic acid) (PLA) bionanocomposite and natural active ingredient with antioxidant properties. Nanoclays incorporated into the biocomposite improved the barrier properties of the PLA, while use of natural oxidants in the packaging delayed the degradation of the cosmetic creams. The safety of the nanoclays and the natural antioxidant active agent were tested in toxicological studies. Furthermore, the processing technology for the development of the containers involved extrusion moulding for the creation of a PLA tube and injection moulding for a PLA pot to contain the cosmetic cream. BIOBEAUTY addressed environmental concerns such as plastic waste disposal (Directive 94/62/EC) and the depletion of non-renewable resources. The development of a biobased and compostable packaging for organic cosmetics will contribute to a greener and safer environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. The project will also allow Europe’s small and medium-sized cosmetic companies to expand their business beyond local and national borders by strengthening their exporting position in the global marketplace.
Biodegradable, packaging, cosmetics, BIOBEAUTY, biocomposite