Packaging made of plastics

We cannot imagine our daily life without detergents and cleaning agents, hair shampoos, toothpaste and other cosmetic products. In order to safely package these products, plastics are frequently used. Because packaging must, as a matter of principle, fulfil many different functions: they must protect the products during transport and storage and permit a dosage and application without any problems. The resealability of a packaging plays frequently an important role, too. Toothpaste is, for instance, not supposed to dry out after its use, no dust is supposed to penetrate into a cream jar or a cleaning agent is not supposed to run out if the bottle is knocked over inadvertently.

According to the current state of the art, it is difficult to design packaging for cosmetic products or detergents and cleaning agents without plastics. Glass packaging is in most cases no alternative since it is significantly heavier and very fragile. This speaks mainly against any use in showers, in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Cardboard packaging is likewise only available for certain products such as powdered detergents.

The manufacturers of cosmetic products, detergents and cleaning agents put significant efforts into reducing packaging consumption as far as possible. By using thin-walled packages, considerable savings have already been made in respect of the packaging material used. Wherever possible, lighter packaging is striven for. For detergents and cleaning agents the packaging per product unit was significantly reduced, more particularly through product concentrations. However, also for cosmetic products refill systems and concentrates which require smaller containers have ensured additional savings in packaging material.

Moreover, the application of used plastics for packaging is a very useful strategy. Already for many years Germany has been a pioneer in the recycling of packaging materials. We, therefore, welcome the fact that the new Packaging Act in Germany provides once more for significantly higher recycling demands in respect of plastics packaging and promotes, moreover, the use of recyclates – ie used plastics – in the production of new packaging.

We believe that the handling of plastics by consumers is an important topic. The thoughtless discarding of waste must be stopped. At this point, more education and information is required and many companies from the cosmetics, detergents and cleaning agents industry are already actively engaged in this field.