Sustainable cosmetic packaging — check what to pay attention to in order to meet market demands

By reading this article, you will learn the latest statistics on the green choices made by consumers. You will find out in which direction the cosmetic packaging industry is heading and you will get acquainted with the latest ecological materials and technologies.


According to the report “Plastic Strategy and Cosmetics” prepared by the Polish Association of the Cosmetics Industry and Deloitte Advisory, the vast majority of consumers pay attention to whether the packaging is environmentally friendly. As many as 69% of the surveyed consumers admitted that when buying cosmetics they always or often pay attention to whether the packaging is ecofriendly, and only 2% never do it.

Plastic packaging in the cosmetics sector accounts for 26% of the total, which is about 7% of the total weight of plastic packaging used in households. The positive information, however, is the fact that cosmetics manufacturers use paper and cardboard much more often (39%).

What is the ecological awareness among cosmetics packaging manufacturers in Poland?

Environmental awareness is growing all over the world, both among consumers and manufacturers. Blanka Chmurzyńska-Brown, the general director of the Polish Association of the Cosmetics Industry, says openly that larger and more developed enterprises are characterised by a pro-ecological approach, while “many smaller entrepreneurs do not know how to deal with the new requirements”.

In this article, we will try to present an ecological approach to the production of appropriate packaging for cosmetics. We will tell you what you can do to keep up with the dynamic changes.

An ecological approach must be comprehensive

Speaking about the ecological approach, attention should be paid not only to the raw materials used for the production of cosmetics packaging, but also to the entire process that must be thought over, planned and implemented by both the cosmetics manufacturer and the packaging manufacturer. The ecological approach translates into the final offer, and can be divided into 4 main stages:

  1. Product and packaging design;

The packaging design should be considered carefully. Both its size, the products used, and the technology necessary to produce it. From the beginning of working on the concept, Burgopak Poland has ensured the use of ecological solutions in the production of packaging. During the design process, we analyse carefully the material consumption to minimise the amount of post-production waste and limit the bonding surface. The design itself focuses on making the packaging as closely matched to the product as possible, which is reflected in the reduced packaging weight and transport costs.

  1. Production of packaging, i.e. ecological production;

Raw Materials

You should choose certified or recycled raw materials and, if possible, they should also be biodegradable. The offer of ecological products at Burgopak Poland is constantly updated with new solutions. Moreover, in September 2022, the company implemented the FSC CoC certificate based on the product origin control chain, which is supported by the largest environmental organisations.

You will learn more about ecological raw materials and certificates in the further part of the article.


Ecological production commitment should be started with adapting the production plant. Burgopak Poland has invested in photovoltaic installations and heat pumps, thanks to which it cares for the good of the planet and optimises processes in the field of energy efficiency. In addition, in order for the production process itself to take place in an ecological manner, ecological raw materials should be used and not only the consumption, but also the recovery of materials should be optimised.

  1. The transportation of packed cosmetics;

Reducing the weight of the packaging is reflected in transport. When choosing forwarding companies, we should check whether they operate pro-ecologically, whether they implement European standards and what certificates they have. As part of our environmental commitment, Burgopak Poland uses only the services of proven local suppliers. Let us work together to leave as little carbon footprint as possible.

  1. Packaging disposal (postconsumer use).

Cosmetics manufacturers know that their task does not end when the product hits the store shelf and is purchased by the consumer. Currently, it is a greater challenge to create ecological packaging than a product. That is why Burgopak Poland supports its customers throughout this process and makes sure that the cosmetics delivered to the market are packed reliably, beautifully and ecologically.

Ecological materials and technologies

Nowadays, you can find practically everything you are looking for on the market. Many suppliers have a wide range of products that are not only ecological, but also meet all the necessary functions, such as a tight closure or a cap with a pump. Practical cosmetic packaging ideal for storing creams, liquids, shampoos and perfumes. The colour of bottles, caps and outer cardbox packaging should be selected with the utmost care for the natural environment. Dyeing in the mass of all kinds of raw materials is becoming a common process. Read more about products dyed in the mass in the article “Paper dyed in the mass — luxury or necessity?”.

Pro-ecological technologies

In the Taropak 2022 Fair, many machines were presented that develop and enable the production of ecological packaging from raw materials ready for recycling, such as cellulose or sugar cane. It is worth mentioning a few of them:

  • innovative thermoforming machines for forming cellulose pulp packaging;
  • machines enabling products packing in a paper blister, i.e. paper formed in various ways, joined by a heat-sealed welding machine, creating fully recyclable packaging;
  • a device used for the production of paper air cushions, in order to fill the voids in the packaging of products, so that they look more exclusive.

Global bio-material trend

Cosmetic packaging has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. Scientific and research centres compete in the search for new, ecological solutions, introducing new materials and technologies. Among them, it is worth mentioning, for example:

  • biodegradable jars,
  • bottles made from fishing nets,
  • or sugar cane tubes.

Burgopak Poland, as a pro-ecological company, always supports cosmetics manufacturers in the conscious choice of the right packaging.

Ecological papers

When thinking about ecological paper, we can choose from: recycled paper, FSC® certified paper or paper from sustainable cultivations. In the Taropak 2022 Fair, several unique products were awarded, which are available permanently in Burgopak Poland offer:

  • NAUTILUS SUPER WHITE — is uncoated paper, made of 100% recycled paper from the processing of paper produced from FSC fibres (bleached product without the use of chlorine gas). It is characterised by good printing properties, including very high whiteness, an eye-friendly shade of white and high opacity. This paper is adapted perfectly to comprehensive internal and external communication.

  • KREATIVKARTON — cardboard made of 100% recycled paper, dyed in the mass, machine-smoothed. It is characterised by high stiffness, abrasion resistance, and rich, intense colours.

  • GMUND BIO CYCLE — a collection of ecological papers made of 100% recycled paper or 50% recycled paper and 50% plant fibres (grass, hemp, cotton), distributed on the Polish market by ZiNG S.A.

As Agnieszka Combrzyńska-Gralak, a Product Manager at ZING, says – “Design must go towards the economy of sustainable positioning and that is why we distinguish pro-eco papers among all our collections. Today, every manufacturer should place great emphasis on the fact that papers are actually produced in an environmentally friendly way, have FSC, Blue Angel (a certificate emphasising that the product is 100% made of recycled paper), Long Life (long-life papers) certificates”.

Is hemp paper our future?

Hemp is an excellent raw material for paper production because it is easier to convert into paper than wood. Processing hemp requires fewer (including toxic) chemicals than processing wood paper. It is more durable than wood paper and more efficient. One hectare of hemp yields as much hemp mass as approximately four hectares of forest.  It can be recycled up to 8 times compared to just 3 times for wood pulp paper.

Fibre hemp, thanks to its special properties, may soon become an alternative for the traditional paper industry, i.e. cellulose obtained from wood. The world appreciates the possibility of using hemp biomass in the paper production process, which is becoming more and more common. In the forthcoming years, it will be possible to use fully the potential of hemp in the preparation of packaging for cosmetics and other products.

Soy-based printing inks

Printing itself can also be ecological, which requires innovation in the three main stages of the printing process – printing technology, printing ink and printing materials. These technologies help to reduce environmental pollution, energy consumption during production and the amount of waste. Cosmetics manufacturers should use ecological inks not only for cosmetics packaging, but also for printing labels glued to the packaging of creams, lotions and hair shampoos. The right choice of products helps to reduce printing costs, at the same time protecting the planet. It is worth taking a closer look at the offer available on the market:

  • Soy-based printing inks, unlike those produced on the basis of petroleum or plastic, do not contain toxic chemicals. They replace perfectly traditional paints used until now on a mass scale and do not have a harmful impact on the environment.

  • Printing inks made from vegetables. However, they do not guarantee the same good results as the soy equivalent and are slightly more expensive.

  • Paints based on distilled water or vegetable oils are already a standard.

  • Paints with the so-called low migration (Corona) are used for food packaging.

Burgopak Poland cooperates only with suppliers who care about sustainable development. Ecology is also in the first place in printing houses that have appropriate permits to generate waste in accordance with the technology used. Nevertheless, the waste generated during production is segregated properly and disposed of in accordance with applicable environmental standards.

LED printing

Summing up the issues of ecological printing, it is worth indicating another ecological solution, which is LED printing. This method does not generate ozone, saves energy and provides eight times less heat emission than traditional UV printing.

Ecological refinements

The best proof of how much ecology has changed the production processes is the fact that the changes have even reached the printing refinement stage. Here is how you can upgrade your packaging by eco-friendly means:

  • ECOLURE LAMINATION — is an eco-technology that offers the possibility of producing metallised packaging suitable for recycling and composting. It is a sustainable alternative to traditional PET lamination. There are 3 types of transfer foils used for perfect visual effects (high gloss silver, holographic foil and lens effect foil). Packaging made in the ECOLURE technology is completely PET-free, recyclable and compostable.

  • COLD STAMPING — is an ecological technology of “cold” printing finishing. It consists in applying a metallised layer to the base surface using UV or water glue, and then printing the surface with the use of various drying technologies. A layer of glue is applied to the printed base surface in places where the refinement is to be found. Then a very thin layer of decorative metal is applied to the same places. The lack of a base film on the packaging and the use of a water-based adhesive makes this technology more ecological than other methods of printing refinement, at the same time, very attractive visually, ensuring aesthetic packaging. Cold foiling allows you to perform refinement online during printing, which reduces the number of processes – unlike, for example, in the case of hot-stamping, where the foil is applied on a separate machine.


The cosmetics and packaging industry matures along with the consumer. The importance of organic cosmetics is growing year by year by about 4 to 6 percent. The Plastics Strategy and its overriding goal – the need to protect our environment – will be, undoubtedly, the important factors shaping the future of the cosmetic product packaging.

If you are looking for ecological packaging that will distinguish your product on the market, contact Burgopak Poland.


1) “PLASTICS AND COSMETICS STRATEGY” Report of the Polish Association of the Cosmetics Industry

2) “Eco-design of packaging. The entrepreneur’s guide” PARP PFR Group

3) “Ecological packaging and innovative technologies at Taropak”

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