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More Attention Paid to Greener Packaging at HBA

Sustainability and eco-friendly packaging were the buzzwords at this year's HBA Global Expo show.

Sustainability and eco-friendly packaging were the buzzwords at this year’s HBA Global Expo show, which was held Tuesday through Thursday at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies are looking beyond product formulations and more at packaging to be more eco-friendly,” according to Taya Tomasello, senior beauty analyst at market research firm Mintel. She added that more consumers are looking for brands that are positioned to be as green as possible.

Packaging options that companies are exploring include everything from glass containers to vegetable inks and from paper and outer packaging made from recycled materials to biodegradable or recyclable packaging.

“Last year, it was all about biodegradable plastics and I feel that this year there’s been a shift to using recyclable glass,” said Tomasello. She also said she’s seen more and more companies do away with the outer packaging.

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Mintel research shows that the number of organic claims made on new product introductions grew 173 percent from 2006 to 2007, while natural claims increased 79 percent in the same period.

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Data from a study in March shows that the sales of natural and organic personal care at natural grocery stores from 2005 to 2007 has increased 19.3 percent to $384.7 million. During the same period, hair care grew the fastest, at 27.8 percent, followed by soap and bath products.

Italy-based Leoplast Group, which uses natural vegetal and renewable sources such as biopolymer produced by NatureWorks LLC, said companies don’t realize the kind of impact they can have by using more eco-friendly packaging. The company supplied Cargo Cosmetics with its VegetalPlastic for the Plant Love makeup line, which was launched early last year.

“From using PLA [polylactic acid] packaging, you can save 60 percent [of the] fossil fuel in comparison to using traditional plastics, in addition to reducing greenhouse gasses up to 90 percent,” said Graziano Reggiani, general manager of Leoplast.

Reggiani said he finds that the U.S. market is more ready to understand and explore more eco-friendly alternatives in terms of packaging, in comparison to the European market, which he said still has a ways to go.

The show’s annual HBA Industry Awards dinner, which took place at the Marriott Marquis, drew some 650 people.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream received the New Product Research & Development Technical Team of the Year Award.

Executives who were honored included Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of Coty Prestige, who was named Marketing Executive of the Year; David Prague, vice president of CPD Packaging for L’Oréal, who received Packaging Executive of the Year honors, and Dr. Robert Piece, Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s vice president of global research and development, who won the Product Development Executive of the Year award.

International Package Design Awards were also presented at the dinner. Nine product categories received accolades, ranging from prestige fragrance to green packaging.

For cosmetics, Infallible Lip Color by L’Oréal USA won in the mass category, while Smashbox received the prestige cosmetics award for its Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder. For fragrance, The Dial Co. was honored for its Right Guard RGX Body Spray in mass, while the Estée Lauder Cos. received the prestige award for its Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia Parfum by Estée Lauder.

Yves Rocher North America Inc. won the Personal Care award in the mass market for its Lipophenol Vegetal 14 Day Body Refiner, while The Gillette Co. & The Art of Shaving Fusion Chrome Collection by The Art of Shaving took home the prestige award.

The mass skin care award went to L’Oréal Skin Genesis, while on the prestige end, Access Business Group was awarded for Artistry Crème L/X. Soap Set by Skinnyskinny received the best green packaging award.

Two separate International Technology Awards were given out to Symrise & Cutech, a joint venture, and Sederma. Korres took home the Recognizing Creativity Award.