cosmetics companies score well Ubuntoo 2021 plastics report – USA

CosmeticsDesign spoke with Ubuntoo​ Operations Manager Haley Randolph about what the report​ means for the personal care industry.

Can you tell me a little bit about what this report found in regards to plastic packaging?

We found roughly four categories of goals. Companies were largely creating goals around recycled content, virgin plastic production, collection and recovery, and then recyclability. A lot of companies had recyclability goals that were largely near the Ellen MacArthur Foundation goals​. The highest-scoring companies in our report had maybe three or four of those goals.

What did you find with cosmetics and personal care specifically in mind?

Two of our top 10 companies were cosmetic companies, so the cosmetic category did relatively well. They are, in our report, classified as high plastic users, and we noticed that high plastic users tended to have higher scores than others, maybe because of the pressure to do so, or maybe because they actually want to make change.

Cosmetics had one of the highest scores of the industries that we looked at. They seem to have more collection and recovery goals of creating circular packaging or refillable packaging. That was one of the standouts of cosmetics.

What does that mean, overall, for plastic pollution?

We still have a long way to go. A lot of these companies, since this is the first year of their report, may not have had a lot of action to report against their goals. While a lot of these companies may have lofty goals, we haven’t seen quite as much action. We’re hoping that in the next editions, we’ll see more action taken to achieve these goals. 

Do you think cosmetics companies are doing enough to curb their pollution contributions?

I think it’s difficult to say. As consumers, we don’t understand how difficult it is to get to 100% recycled content or 100% recyclability. We see 50% and don’t understand why it’s not 100%. It is a difficult thing to achieve. 

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