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Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference looks at packaging
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Picture: panel discussion at the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference 2016
How should natural and organic cosmetics be packaged? With a view towards the environment and digitalization, says the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference. The 10th edition will be held September 26-27, 2017, at the Hotel Ellington in Berlin
Plastic waste are polluting the oceans worldwide
All over the world, oceans are increasingly becoming a disposal site for plastic waste. According to scientific estimates, approximately 100-150 million tons of plastic waste are polluting the oceans worldwide, with an annual increase of 8-10 million tons, assesses the organization Sea Shepherd Germany. In this context, this international marine wildlife conservation organization has launched the Marine Debris Campaign – with the aim to clean up plastic waste floating in the oceans. On the first day of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference, representatives of the organization will critically examine the topic of cosmetic packaging in the oceans and also raise the question of how the littering can be stopped.
Microbeads: acute danger for marine life
The focus of the media mostly centers on microbeads. The tiny particles are difficult to remove from water, even wastewater plants are not able to filter microbeads. Discharged into bodys of water, they become part of the food chain. According to estimates, approximately 500 tons of microplastics stemming from German cosmetic companies end up in the oceans every year. But natural and organic cosmetics may be called on as a positive example: “certified natural and organic cosmetics have always abstained from using solid microplastics in products, this also includes suspended, fluid, gel or wax-like plastics and synthetic polymers“, explains Wolf Lüdge, managing director of the naturkosmetik verlag, which in cooperation with the NürnbergMesse, organizer of the Vivaness, hosts the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference in Berlin, now in its 10th edition.
Responsible packaging for the future
Of course tubes, jars and plastic bottles also pose a threat to the oceans. An alternative to conventional packaging is packaging that can be recycled or is made from recycled materials. Several companies have already successfully implemented these materials, e.g. in packaging manufactured with 50 % post-consumer-recycling (PCR)-materials. Alan Campbell, Technical Director of the LCA Centre in the Netherlands, will offer a “Packaging Life Cycle Assessment“ during his presentation at the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference and will present a guide for responsible packaging choices.
But when it comes to deciding on future-proof packaging in the cosmetics industry, the digitalization of the packaging industry is also a key factor, confirms Karel J. Golta, Managing Director Indeed Innovation GmbH: “for the generation Alpha, as well as all subsequent generations, digital lifestyle is part of their normal life. Now the time has come for the digital disruption to reach the packaging industry in an appropriate manner – though not in form of gimmicks, but with added value.“ Meanwhile, for example, special apps address customer demands by offering the option of individualized packaging. But many additional options, such as metallic surfaces or QR-codes, make recycling increasingly difficult.
In his presentation on the second Conference day, the expert will focus on the digitalization in the natural and organic cosmetics industry – with a critical view towards environmental concerns. Karel J. Golta: “Contrary to the general view, this advancement by no means excludes sustainability, but can significantly contribute to this aspect – and thereby revolutionize natural and organic cosmetics packaging.“
The 10th edition of the Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference will be held September 26-27, 2017, at the Hotel Ellington in Berlin with Elfriede Dambacher acting as program chairwoman and under new general management by Wolf Lüdge. On the day prior to the Conference, the popular Trendtour Berlin will take participants to newly discovered hotspots of natural cosmetics in Berlin (bus tour, 2-6 p.m.).