We work continuously to combine the highest level of product efficacy with a reduced impact on the environment. This work includes continually evolving our product packaging to find solutions for packaging each range in a sustainable and formula-friendly way and reducing the impact of our packaging on the environment. By following the principles of a circular economy, we are striving to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Plastic pollution is one of the most significant environmental challenges of our time. But it’s not only pollution that’s an issue: it’s also the fact that the production of plastic requires finite fossil materials. For these reasons, we at Eucerin believe that we must significantly reduce the amount of fossil-based virgin plastic we are using to package our products. Our ambitious target is to reduce our usage of fossil-based virgin plastic by 50% until 20251 compared to 2019.
To save plastic, we aim to reduce the weight of our packaging wherever we can. After all, reduction is the first principle of sustainable packaging. That is why the new packaging of our OMEGA Balm is made of 20%-40% less plastic (depending on product size). Using less material also contributes to saving CO2 emissions. So in this case, less really is more.
Reducing Virgin Plastic by Using Recycled Plastic
To achieve our ambitious target of reducing fossil-based virgin plastic by 50% by 20251, we are packaging more and more of our products in recycled plastic packaging instead of virgin plastic. As recycling of plastic requires less energy than the production of new material, we also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions this way.
We achieved our first big milestone with our Face Cleanser bottles, made of up to 98% recycled plastic since early 2021.
Next on the list are our bestselling lotions and shower product bottles from our pH5 and UreaRepair PLUS ranges, which are made of up to 99% percent recycled plastic as of October 2021.
Why not 100% Recycled Plastic?
While 100% recycled plastic would be nice to have, we still need 1 to 5% non-recycled components to preserve and protect our delicate formulas from sunlight. We believe that transparency and honesty are key, and we prefer to make a real promise. This is why we don’t claim 100% recycled plastic when it’s in fact 99%.
Supporting a Circular Economy: Recyclability & Reusability
To actively support a circular economy, we are further increasing the recyclability and reusability of our packaging by 2025.
Environmentally speaking, it makes more sense to refill, reuse and recycle so that the packaging produced can have more than one life and become part of a circular economy.
Over 20 years ago, we launched our pH5 refill bags. These help consumers refill existing standard bottles and produce 65% less plastic waste compared to a regular bottle.
Year by year, we will expand our existing refill concepts and establish innovative new refill solutions. We will also increase the recyclability of our packaging via many steps and projects, supporting our goal of ensuring that, by 2025, the majority of Eucerin packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or refillable.
Paper is a popular packaging material. At Eucerin, we use it for leaflets and cardboard boxes. But paper production also requires wood, water, and energy. By reducing the amount of paper we use, Eucerin contributes to preserving natural resources and saving CO2 emissions.
Eliminating Package Inserts
In 2020, we started eliminating packaging leaflets from all our cosmetic products2. This will save 20 million leaflets worldwide each year – equivalent to 47 metric tons of paper. We carefully examined which package insert information is essential, considering both legal requirements as well as your interests as a consumer. Now, all important information will be found on the main product packaging, with further in-depth product information available on the Eucerin website.
Reducing Folding Boxes
But that’s not all. We have already taken further steps to reduce paper consumption. After careful consideration, we decided that some of our products no longer need a folding box, especially in case of large product containers where we can fit all essential information onto the primary product packaging. Following this logic, we will eliminate folding boxes from our assortment where possible and thereby save more than 100 tons of paper annually by 2025. We are also testing new carton material for our packaging to further reduce both our demand for paper as well as our CO2 impact.
By 2025, we will save over 200 tons of paper annually (compared to 2019), thereby reducing the consumption of wood, water and energy required for paper production.
Responsibly Sourcing Paper
We pay close attention when sourcing our packaging paper and cardboard, exclusively using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or recycled paper. We also established a binding Sustainable Paper and Cardboard Policy at Eucerin with the goal to switch to 100% sustainable paper and cardboard materials worldwide.
Today, 100% of our folding boxes are made of FSC-certified material. This certification guarantees the sustainable origin of the materials. The next step will be to switch all remaining paper-based packaging such as shipping boxes and point of sale materials to FSC-certified or recycled paper. As most paper packaging is recyclable, you can also help by making sure to recycle paper packaging in the appropriate local collection.
1 Beiersdorf company target
2 Excluding medical devices