Cosmetic show in full green force

I’ve been running around at the annual HBA cosmetic event in New York city for the past two days and that led me to not being able to do my blogging job, for which I apologize.

Fortunately, the 3-day show is full of green news, events and presentations. For my stories on new green packaging products launched at the show as well as some of the difficulties in using bioplastic in cosmetic packaging, you can access them on [for subscribers only though -- sorry!].

My favorite quote while attending some presentations is from Wylie Royce, vice president of New Jersey-based dyes and specialty chemicals firm Royce International, who said that “dyes bleed like a stuck pig in polylactic acid (PLA) plastic.”

Of course this produced some comments about lipsticks and pigs but I’m not getting into that.

On HBA’s first day (which was Tuesday), I attended one marketing program that focused on sustainable packaging initiatives. Anthony Sterling, a packaging consultant, noted that not all bioplastics are created green and necessarily good for a company.

Wendy Jedlicka, another consultant in green packaging designs, advised on how to avoid greenwashing in marketing products; while Jane Bickerstaffe, director of UK’s Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), pointed out that politicians don’t really have a clue on what sustainable packaging means, and that it is up to the packaging and consumer products companies to educate them as well as consumers on how green products are really determined – from production, to distribution, to consumption, to waste.

She cited an example about the total carbon footprint of a shampoo product. Packaging accounts for more than 20% of its carbon emission IF the use of the shampoo is not included. What they found out is that more than 90% of the product’s total emissions came from the use of hot water to wash away the shampoo. The lesson here? Don’t use hot water that much when showering – it’s bad for your hair anyway, according to Bickerstaffe.

I am actually working on a green packaging article for ICIS Chemical Business‘ packaging feature on October 20, so stay tune for more on this subject.

Meanwhile, the HBA show also had its separate naturals conference program dedicated to all things, natural/organic/holistic/sustainable… in cosmetics and personal care mostly focused on ingredients I think. I was unable to attend much of it although I heard there were several sessions about the popularity of certifications for natural/organic products.

Here is a list of some of the naturals/organic products launched at the show:

Alcan’s 95% organic, Ecocert-certified cosmetic line called Be Organic; 100% natural cotton, paraben-free wipes for your feet by A World of Wipes; Interfashion Cosmetics’ organic color cosmetics that contains 100% certified active organics; Silab’s Osilift Bio cosmetic ingredients line that are certified by Ecocert; and TwinCraft Soap’s Ultra Organic Soap Base which is said to be 100% chelate free and certified organic by the Soil Association of the UK and by Quality Assurance International.

You just have to love these green marketing lines! Now you know how these green certifications are becoming so important to the industry.

Lastly, HBA also introduced in its annual International Package Design Awards during a new category called Green Packaging.

For my next post, I’ll be talking a little bit about my second day at the HBA covering their 3rd annual regulatory summit. You’ll read some of the industry rantings about the growing rules and regulations [especially in California!] targeting the chemical, packaging and consumer products markets.


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