Single use plastic and it’s harmful effects are taking a toll on the environment. An article in Cosmetic Business discusses alternative methods through which the beauty industry could reduce its plastic footprint on Earth.
A stream of hard-hitting media reports and images showing the detrimental impact of packaging waste is having on our oceans and marine life is causing consumer industries to urgently rethink their use of single-use plastics. The global cosmetics industry is among the worst offenders of single-use items, with almost 120 billion units of packaging annually going to landfill, according to a report by Zero Waste Europe. Companies in India such as Flipkart, Amazon and Bigbasket are now on a hunt for alternatives to single-use plastic, as the government is likely to restrict its use for packaging from 2nd October 2019, as stated in Economic times.
Time for change
Now, beauty retailers are starting to introduce refill stations in their stores as they join the fight against plastic waste. But can in-store refill stations rescue bricks-and-mortar and save the planet? “Refill stations offer consumers an easy way to help save the planet, and are a lifeline for physical department stores & drug stores who need to reinvent the in-store experience. ” – Helga Hertsig-Lavocah, Senior Trend Watcher and Founder at Hint Futurology, as per quoted in Cosmetic Business
Coming to e-commerce companies in India, Flipkart said it had already reduced use of single-use plastic by 25% and has set a target of using 100% recycled plastic by March 2021. Even Amazon and Bigbasket, are trying to reduce the use of single-use plastic. Bigbasket has stopped using them to package products in Bengaluru, which has banned the use of such plastics altogether, as per an article in Economic Times.
Today, consumers are overwhelmed with information about packaging, product and ingredients. As customisable beauty continues to rise, Helga predicts customers will either have to modify packaging to add an element of customisation at the moment of dispensing, or small containers will become the norm with refilling in store. These in-store refill stations also provide an opportunity for the customer to be serviced around his or her needs. It is likely that refill stations in the future will vary from simple pumps for customers to use themselves, to high end stations, which will allow shoppers to customise their own product. This type of service cannot happen online, hence why driving customers in-store to receive the elevated experience is important.
Source: Cosmetic Business