How can the beauty industry reduce their environmental impact?

A shoebox-sized delivery has just arrived at your door, but you can’t remember buying any shoes. When you open the aesthetically pleasing box, remove a pile of packaging, and reveal another small box, only to find… a lipstick.

The beauty industry can be known for its impact on the environment, with an estimated 5000 – 11,500 tons of cosmetic packaging filling Australian landfills each year.

Beauty brands often focus on packaging aesthetics but the functionality of packaging can sometimes be forgotten. Due to this, their packaging can have an impact on the environment; with approximately 70% of the beauty industry’s waste coming from packaging.

Many brands make claims that they are sustainable and eco-friendly because their packaging is recyclable. However, recycling is not always possible because packaging often contains a mix of materials. Even when the components are separable, it’s tricky for the recycling workers to process. This is due to customers not taking the time to separate the pieces themselves.

Zero Waste Week outlined that 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetic industry, contributing to a loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. So….

Unpacking the Beauty Industry's Sustainable Packaging Problem



A lack of protection and practicality, and unnecessary packaging are all common flaws of bad packaging design. Source packaging solutions that are fit for purpose, provide superior protection and eliminate filler packaging such as void fill.

Sancell’s Armour Padded Mailer Bags are suited to every sized product, from lipsticks to surfboards. Armour has been specifically engineered to provide all-around padded protection and can be wrapped tight to eliminate any unnecessary space to ensure the product cannot slide around and be damaged.  


We already know the environmental costs of returned parcels so businesses should be investing in reusable, returnable and sustainable packaging that have authentic and measurable benefits for the environment. Lower packaging waste, streamlined returns and reduced shipping costs are just a few benefits of reusable and returnable packaging.

Sancell has developed an all-in-one returnable Padded Mailer Bag. This packaging solution gives customers and online retailers an easy-to-use return option that eliminates the need to source more packaging to make the return.


Go green by investing in recyclable packaging that can be easily repurposed without harming our ecosystem. A TerraCycle survey found that 90% of beauty customers were willing to pay a premium for recyclable packaging and products.

Each Armour Padded Mailer Bag is made from LDPE4 and contains a minimum of 20% recycled content! The entire Armour Bag range is REDcycle approved. This allows consumers to recycle their packaging even if it’s not currently accepted by local recycling services.



Companies from many industries often use the words sustainable, natural, chemical-free, reusable, and recyclable and soemtimes the authenticity of these words can get lost. They can add just 1% of organic material and label the product as green, natural and organic; or claim their packaging is recyclable when only a few elements are. Given the majority of the packaging is not recyclable, the claim recyclable is misleading to customers.

Do your research and…


Look out for brands that are doing more than just reducing their packaging.

Sustainability isn’t just about recyclable materials or reusable packaging. Sustainability is about waste reduction, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, packaging design, raw material selection, product manufacturing and disposal, and of course, buying local. When purchasing from a local Australian brand, you are not only supporting the local economy but reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Sancell uses LDPE4 which uses significantly fewer resources to produce and recycle and therefore results in lower carbon emissions. Sancell also operates under an ISO 4001 Environmental Management System and uses 25% renewable energy with GreenPower.

The beauty industry is working towards positive environmental change; starting with increased awareness from customers, the elimination of greenwash and better accountability from brands. So, what are you doing to unpack the beauty industry’s packaging problem?