”Molecular materials are also recyclable at the end of life, making them a truly sustainable option”
On the journey to becoming a circular beauty brand
June 21, 2023
Alain is VP R&D and Sustainability at Lumene. He has been researching skin ageing and working in cosmetics science for 30 years.
You recently launched some innovative product packaging. What is it?
— Most of the pumps in cosmetics products are typically made of multiple materials, including different plastics and metals, and can even contain a plastic ball. This means the pumps are difficult to recycle — the recyclability is normally around 50 %. We’ve launched Nordic Hy- dra Oat Milk Oil Cleanser in a pet bottle with a mono-material pump where both that and the bottle are 100 % recyclable, making recycling easier for the consumer. We’ve set a target of having all our strategic skincare packaging 100 % recyclable by 2025.
Is this your solution or the producer’s?
— The technical limitations and challenges but also the opportunities. Not everything, comes out perfect in the be- ginning, there are lots of trials and errors from which we keep learning. The key is multi-stakeholder cooperation, and we also invite external companies to join forces. Sustainability is a journey.
Speaking of packaging innovation, you’ve also partnered with fellow Finnish material innovation company Sulapac.
— Indeed. We launched our first pilot project together about a year ago as the first cosmetics company to use their bio-based and biodegradable material in water-based cosmetics. It is one of the many collaborations we’ve done in this field, and we keep on collaborating with multiple packaging manufacturers for developing more sustainable packaging options. This spring, we are launching two more products in Sulapac jars. In April, we will also be launching a product, Nordic Hydra Birch Dew Jelly, with another exciting packaging innovation: the premium-look- ing plastic bottle, which typically is not recyclable, is now made out of molecularly recycled plastics. Molecular recycling breaks down waste plastic into its fundamental building blocks and uses them to create new high-performance materials. Reduced carbon footprint and diverting waste from landfill are just a few of the benefits we get from molecular recycling. Furthermore, the materials we chose are also recyclable at the end of life, making them a truly sustainable option.
Get more insights with our newly launched Beauty Innovation newsletter.