“(It is) important that the right infrastructures are in place to process the material, otherwise it will just be treated as residual waste.”
French cosmetics manufacturer Alkos has launched eyeliner cellulose pencils made from recycled paper fibres. According to the company, these make-up pencils use up to 95% of bio-based materials and carve as easily as wood or plastic while being compostable and recyclable.
Currently, a majority of brands use wood or plastic to make their eyeliner pencils.
In a statement, Alkos said that its new product was “an ecological alternative not only to plastic” but “also to wood – a natural resource to protect”.
Some environmental campaigners will question whether this initiative from Alkos is greenwash because global brands have been using wood pencils for decades.
However, Alkos’ marketing manager Laura Mariani said: “This is a truly innovative solution for sustainable and environmentally-friendly recycling.”
According to the Independent newspaper, last year, Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign, reported that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, most of which are not recyclable.
Larissa Copello, consumption and production campaigner at environmental campaign group Zero Waste Europe (@zerowasteeurope), told Bio Market Insights that “whatever materials are used, it is key that they do not contain toxic chemicals”.
In relation to concerns over compostability/biodegradability, Copello said that it was “important that the right infrastructures are in place to process the material, otherwise it will just be treated as residual waste”.
In a statement on its website, L’Oreal said that it had introduced green initiatives to reduce the weight of bottles and caps, which have led to a saving in source materials of 5,000 tonnes between 2008 and 2017.
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