L’Oréal and Albéa in paper packaging breakthrough reveal first prototype

By Charlotte Turner |

L'Oréal-and-Albéa-paper-packaging-leadContinuing in its mission to reduce its environmental impact and improving the footprint of its packaging, L’Oréal has announced the development of the very first paper-based cosmetic tube.


In collaboration with cosmetics packaging firm Albéa, the product will make its debut in 2020.


As previously reported, L’Oréal Travel Retail Managing Director Vincent Boinay told TRBusiness that the beauty giant’s ‘crusade’ to reduce its carbon footprint marks a new dawn in conducting business and is one that travel retail cannot afford to ignore.


At corporate level, L’Oréal Group was awarded a triple A rating earlier this year on climate change, forests and water security on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) A list, which independently assesses thousands of companies on their environmental credentials.


Responding to an increase in consumer-led environmental activism, TRBusiness, in association with Duty Free Innovation (DFI), launched two pioneering initiatives to help the duty free & travel retail industry combat its impacts on the environment, including plastic pollution in July. For more information on the TR Plastic Pledge and the Travel Retail Sustainability Forum (TRSF), click here.



Asked how the accolade is being wielded to enact change across travel retail, Boinay responded: “All employees are very proud of what L’Oréal is doing – what can we do to amplify this crusade against carbon emissions? What can we do as a business unit to be fully compliant with the L’Oréal way of seeing and sharing beauty with all? That is our mission.”



Vincent Boinay, Managing Director, L’Oréal Travel Retail set out the ‘Beauty for all travellers’ and ‘Make beauty sustainable and sustainability beautiful’ missions during the company’s annual press conference at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference.

The new breakthrough in paper packaging will allow brands from the L’Oréal group to replace the majority of the plastic currently used in their tubes with new bio-based and certified paper-like material.


L’Oréal says that the environmental benefit of this innovation will be evaluated with the Life Cycle Analysis, the most advanced tool for comprehensive and multi-criteria assessments of environmental impact.



Is this the future for all of L’Oréal’s products?


“Since 2007 we have been constantly improving the environmental footprint of our packaging. Today we are going one step further and launching this new technology based on certified paper,” says Philippe Thuvien, director of packaging and development at L’Oréal.


Albéa says it boasts the industry’s ‘largest range of environmentally-friendly solutions’.



L’Oréal’s goal is to finish this new technological solution quickly in order to release the first models on the market in 2020, after a testing period in April.

“L’Oréal is committed to improving the environmental or social profile of 100% of its packaging by end 2020,” adds Philippe Thuvien. “This innovative, alternative solution is an integral part of the Group’s packaging strategy.”


The first of these tubes may contain face or body care products.


In a joint statement, L’Oréal and Albéa say they ‘share a consciousness of their responsibilities as major industrial actors’.


The two companies are also committed to the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which promotes a circular economy.



“Albéa’s commitment to sustainability goes back 15 years and is reflected in our broad range of responsible packaging,” says Gilles Swyngedauw, Vice President Marketing, Innovation and Sustainability at Albéa.


“Our ambition today is to accelerate the development of innovative, responsible solutions, to dare break the codes, to aim for breakthroughs.”


This innovation is another step forward to improve the environmental footprint of L’Oréal’s packaging, an effort the company has been making for over 10 years.


It’s part of the group’s strategic program for sustainable development, Sharing Beauty With All, and is based on concrete initiatives: respecting biodiversity and the environment, reducing the volume and weight of packaging by only using necessary components and optimal dimensions, replacing high-impact materials, and promoting circularity.


“SPOT (Sustainable Product Optimisation Tool) – our tool that evaluates the social and environmental impact of products— allows us to quantify, in a precise manner, the areas of improvement that we need to focus on,” adds L’Oréal.


“We plan to improve the environmental or social impact of 100% of our new products by 2020. In 2025, all our plastic packaging will be rechargeable, refillable, recyclable or compostable. Lastly, 50% of the plastic used in our packaging will come from bio-sourced materials by 2025.”


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