As product packaging innovations evolve in markets abroad, P&G Beauty is using its global purview to inspire new approaches.
At Fairchild Media Group’s Sustainability Summit, Allison Collins, senior editor, beauty of WWD and Beauty Inc, spoke about new product packaging with Anitra Marsh, vice president, global sustainability, citizenship and brand communications; Artur Litarowicz, senior vice president and general manager, hair care Europe, P&G Beauty, and Tomeka Williams, vice president, sales, North America hair care, P&G Beauty.
P&G Beauty’s efforts started last year with the birth of its Responsible Beauty program. “This sets the goals and strategies for our work and things like sustainability, equality and inclusion, safety, performance and transparency. As we look at what it means to be in sustainability, we are always looking through that lens with a systems-thinking approach,” Marsh said.
“We want to make sure that decisions that we’re taking in packaging don’t have unintended consequences in other areas like safety, quality or performance,” Marsh continued. “So when we look at package sustainability, we’re not taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Our strategy includes single-use packaging, that’s both recyclable and uses recycled content, but also refillable or reusable options, where we think there is tremendous opportunity to explode growth.”
To that end, Litarowicz said consumer attitudes toward packaging products more intentionally are much more evolved in European markets.
“If you look at the big numbers, 63 percent of consumers in Europe are saying that they try to actively reduce the personal footprint when it comes to waste, and more than 50 percent of those are actually looking for renewable sources,” Litarowicz said.
In the U.S., the migration to digital has given way to omnichannel solutions for refillable packaging, Marsh said.
“When we sold the Olay refillable Regenerist jar, that was through olay.com. But we’ve also had experiences in store, and with retail partners online. We need a combination of all of them. Consumers are still shopping in stores and want to be able to experience and play with different options, so we do think having that in-store presence of refills is important. However, as e-commerce grows, it’s important that consumers have access to refill when they’re ready to refill. So, having both is important for us,” Marsh said.
Beyond cooperation from retailers, Williams said the onus falls on brands across the market for reusable packaging to reach its tipping point.
“As we work with our retail partners to drive sustainability, this is not a one-man show,” Williams said. “We need the partnership, and all of us to come to the table to move the needle forward as relates to sustainability. Our retail partners are making bold declarations in the space with different CPG companies, not just P&G,” she said. “All of us are to the table and making these visions, and putting a stake in the ground that we are going to move forward and make a difference in the sustainability space.”
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