Answering the charcoal graze, or how a new sustainable material improves the environmental impact of beauty products

Answering the charcoal graze, or how a new sustainable material improves the environmental impact of beauty products

We don’t know if you have identified this market trend yet, but charcoal is making its entry into all beauty care areas. “The detoxifying ingredient is breaking out of oral care and skin care and moving into ingestible,” explains Emily Burns on WWD.


Charcoal, also known as biochar has many benefits in beauty and personal care. It is recognised for its “porous element that is said to attach to toxins and removes them from the body…. Though the ingredient has taken on a new life amongst consumers, it has been a go-to in traditional health care settings for treating poisonings.” explain the journalist.

The benefits of biochar are well known, and what if you could have added benefits when using it in your beauty packaging? This material conveys a compelling message to your beauty audience - somehow in-and-out beauty -. Did you know that Charcoal is detoxifying and can also have an antibacterial effect inside your packaging?


 

How is it made

Moving back a step, we can explain a little bit about where Charcoal comes from. Biochar is a waste or by-product of wood production. When looking at the sourcing of this sustainable material for beauty products, it’s important to consider the sourcing and transformation process:

  • Geographical sourcing: is it made locally or transported from afar, 

  • Certification: sustainable forest management (FSC, PEFC for example), 

  • Transformation process: made for the unique purpose of biochar, or waste of production

With mPackting, our parent company Minelli has been making wood components for over 80 years. The biochar we produce and source is from production waste. Secondly, the wood used in the production is coming from the forests around the production plant, with a 200 kilometres circumference sourcing area.



Environmental benefit

Biochar is low-impact material, and can even be considered a carbon sink. It means that it absorbs and sequestrates carbon dioxide. Picture this, when wood grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide when wood is used for packaging, it is acting as carbon sink material, and instead of generating carbon dioxide in the making - compared to hydrocarbons for instance. Transforming wood into biochar and into packaging will generate energy, but the impact will still be lower than if we were making materials from scratch.

Biochar is a natural resource as a great alternative petrochemicals in order to avoid pollutions or microplastics left behind.
 

Technical & Health benefits of biochar - a low-carbon material for packaging

The advantages of charcoal on health and well-being are well-known. We are now working on developing and certifying benefits for use in beauty packaging. Biochar is used, for instance, in the removal of toxins and acting as a filter in water consumption.

It is known to remove “ ions of contaminants by attracting them to the surface of the carbon, where they will be held. It is also able to release minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium back into the water which enhances its taste and health benefits.” 

What if we could use these detoxifying and filtering benefits in packaging, where the inner side of your packaging could offer an anti-bacterial protective layer? We are currently testing our proprietary material mBlck to that effect.

The technical benefits of this material include:

  • Porous

  • Insulate thermally

  • Biochar is great for sustainability. It is a carbon sink

  • Using wood waste

  • Black material. Works well in the luxury and prestige segments



     

Biochar in mBlack, a mouldable packaging with low-impact

mPackting has developed its own material for cosmetics packaging usage. It is called mBlack and is proprietary. 
 

mBlack™ is a mix of biochar and biodegradable resin (also sourced locally) - that offers technicality and robustness. mBlack™ can be injection moulded in skincare jars, makeup compacts, small parts or components, and any other packaging that can use this technology.
 

mBlack™ is made in a sustainable factory: 

  • emissions 100% law-compliant, 

  • wood waste 100% re-used, 

  • energy from renewable resources, 

  • logistics optimization.

 

TechnicallymBlack™ has been developed to be a carbon sink and also to degrade for safe end-of-life in order to avoid waste and pollution. 

mBlack™ material is: 

  • biobased,

  • Biodegradable,

  • Food contact compliant

  • Binding resin is made from fermenters to convert organic waste into a biopolymer (low carbon process)

     

It decomposes without leaving microplastics behind, it does not interfere with the food supply chain, and it is a climate-cooling service or carbon-sink.
 

mBlack™  has been developed to offer premium packaging solutions for the beauty industry.

Paolo Minelli
Paolo Minelli
Minelli Systems Director
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