GEKA launches first ever formulation compliant recycled polypropylene material suitable for cosmetics packaging

Published: 25-Mar-2024

GEKA, medmix’s beauty brand, is revolutionising the cosmetics packaging market with a breakthrough material innovation in sustainable cosmetics

The first ever bulk and formulation compliant post-consumer-recycled (PCR) polypropylene (PP) material suitable for primary cosmetic packaging. The new material provides unprecedented colour brilliance, guarantees no loss of visual effects and saves 75% CO2-emissions compared to virgin materials.

The new PCR PP is suitable for components in contact with formulation like bottles and rods – a breakthrough material innovation. It behaves identically to virgin material, so there's no need for manufacturers to adjust tooling or processing equipment and is available at a comparable price level. This makes it a zero-investment solution that allows brands to take an overnight step toward sustainability.

Meeting high standards

The new material was developed in close collaboration with GEKA’s long-standing partner WIS-Kunststoffe. It consists of at least 95% recycled PP plastic, is completely odourless, and has been tested according to several strict international standards aimed at both the cosmetics and food production sectors. This includes EU (No) 10/2011 (food contact), EC 1223/2009 (cosmetic products), REACH (no) 1907/2006 and California Proposition 65.

The material’s ability to meet these high standards opens new horizons for the packaging of products such as water-based mascaras. Previously, the exacting quality and suitability requirements for components that come into contact with the cosmetic, such as the thread part and bottle, ruled out the use of PCR PPs. Now, for the first time, the packaging can be made entirely from recycled material.

GEKA and WIS-Kunststoffe worked to ensure that the new material is optimised for use in cosmetics packaging. This means the material is colour-neutral, allowing for a broad spectrum of shade and effect combinations that could not be achieved with conventional recycled packaging. As the new material does not have the usual impurities or require added colour batches, it offers consistency and vibrancy in hues that were previously hard to maintain. For beauty brands it is opening up the horizon of design. Cosmetic brands can now use complex effects such as metallic sheen or chrome without compromising on brilliance or having to use excessive amounts of pigment. As the material acts exactly like virgin PP, it provides unprecedented colour brilliance and guarantees absolutely no loss of visual effect.

This colour stability and vibrancy means that cosmetics businesses can switch packaging components previously made from standard PP to the new recycled material without altering any of their existing branding.

A ground-breaking material

Huong Bister, Head of R&D at GEKA , says: “This ground-breaking PCR PP material allows the cosmetics industry to drive sustainability without sacrificing performance, functionality, or quality. While many manufacturers have used PCR in packaging before, this is the first PCR PP that is safe to use in direct contact with the cosmetic itself.

“Traditional PCR materials can struggle with muddied appearance and compatibility issues. These concerns do not apply to GEKA’s new PCR PP. Brands don’t need to sacrifice their beautiful design concepts to be a sustainable option. It will hold vivid colours just as the virgin material would, from piano-black to pure white.”

GEKA was launching its new material at Cosmopack in Bologna, which run March 21-24, 2024. Visitors were able to view the breakthrough material in person at Hall 15 - Booth E2/F1.

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