Let’s discuss Plastic Alternatives

Let’s discuss Plastic Alternatives

Why Alternatives to Plastics Matter and How to Work with them

You may have seen it a bit everywhere. Plastic is the enemy public number 1. And for good reasons. 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year and only 9% so far as ever been recycled (according to the OECD). And according to the UN environment programme, plastics account for nearly 85% of marine pollution, with around 75-199 million tons in the ocean. And plastics production is expected to double over the next 20 years.

Plastics also account for soil pollutants and 11% globally of black carbon emissions when being burnt when all recycling solutions has failed.

Plastics has become such a waste because it is widely spread in all markets and usages due to its low cost and high versatility. However, if not recycled plastics can turn into small particles undetectable also called micro-plastics and it is estimated today that the entire food chain is polluted with microplastics. In other words, plastic waste is very harmful to human health and wildlife.

Developing effective alternatives to plastic

Plastics remains the number one material for packaging applications, especially in the cosmetics industry where formulas can take different forms (liquid and waterbase, oil form, powder, colour, solid bar, creams with high viscosity, etc)

  • The first factor to take into account is the protection of cosmetics formula and the prevention of any negative interaction between the container and the content. A lot of tests have been conducted over the years, and plastic often offers good protection with good formula compatibility with very limited risk of interaction (depending on the formulation). It means that technical and safety factors are well known.

Using other materials than plastics requires testing to ensure that this first factor is compliant with current industry standards and regulatory requirements.

  • The second factor is to look at design and current standards. We must ensure that design is in line with current market usage, rules and standards (for shapes or forms) in the industry.

For two reasons. For industrial conformity and consumer adoption. 

On the industrial side, after being manufactured packaging needs to be filled with bulk by specialist fillers, and packaging shape or form shouldn’t hinder the industrial process that involves machinery and automation at some stage.

On the consumer side, behavioural change is the most complex action to set in motion, so designing with new material shouldn’t imply a new gesture or a new application since it will require education and time for consumer adoption.

It means that new materials should offer similar properties to current ones. Easier said than done, right


Wood and its derivatives

At mPackting, thanks to our history and close relationship with our parent company Minelli Group, we have built a mastery around wood and all its derivatives, so we have become specialists in biodegradable materials for packaging. From wood we have developed our own compostable material called mBlack™made from biochar (charcoal) which stores carbon in a stable form in the long term, effectively acting as a Climate Cooling Service. 

mBlack™ is a nature-based, scalable carbon sink, it is also biodegradable, it decompones without leaving microplastics behind, and it does not interfere with the food supply chain. 

We have developed this material to help your beauty brand switch to eco-friendly alternatives, in order to reduce plastic waste, protect nature, and make a positive impact on our planet while still delivering high-quality products to consumers.

mBlack™ for cosmetic packaging

We want to have a positive impact in the cosmetic industry by replacing traditional plastics with an innovative solution. Our mBlack packaging not only preserves aesthetics but also aligns with our commitment to sustainability. This eco-friendly alternative is specially designed for cosmetic products, making it the ideal choice for a greener future without compromising on style or performance.

We have also developed a standard line that integrates mBlack™ as well as wood components for outer packaging, so you don’t have to worry about the impact of your packaging.



Get in touch with us, to learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions!

Also, about plastic and alternatives, we also suggest the following interesting articles:

1 ) Pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short

2) A future without plastic

Paolo Minelli
Paolo Minelli
Minelli Systems Director
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