Reader Question: Eco-Friendly Containers for Beauty Products

Reader Question lip gloss pot

A reader wrote in recently asking about eco-friendly packaging for lip gloss. Her friend makes lip gloss as a hobby right now but is looking to produce larger batches to give as gifts and maybe even sell. At the moment, she’s using reclaimed contact lens cases (genius, if you ask me!), but as she scales up, that’s not really going to keep working for her availability-wise. Plus, she’s worried that some friends and customers might be icked out about lip gloss packaged in old contacts cases.

It can be tricky to scale your production up and keep that packaging green. Minimal packaging is always best, but when it comes to beauty products there are some things that just need a package. You can’t exactly spoon a glob of lip gloss into your customer’s hand, right? It needs a container. Good on this crafter for trying to find an eco-friendly alternative! I did a little digging and came up with a couple of sources that might work.

There are a couple of companies that offer some plastic tubes made with a high recycled content. These aren’t 100% recycled, but if you’re going for plastic tubes, these are better than the conventional ones for sure. Not every tube on that page is recycled, so make sure you read those descriptions before buying, if you’re going this route!

The other option I found isn’t recycled, but it’s still my favorite of the two. Ball makes metal tins for lip gloss that are 100% recyclable. For me, this would be the better option. New materials up front, but it’s made in the U.S., fully recyclable when it’s empty, and metal is lower impact than plastic at every point in the waste stream. You also wouldn’t have to worry about plastic leaching into your quality product.

Glass containers are also pretty good from an environmental standpoint. I had a hard time finding recycled glass containers, but glass is a pretty low impact material, as these things go, and a lot of glass contains recycled content, even if the seller doesn’t mention it in the listing.

I’d love to hear from other indie cosmetics makers out there! What do you do to keep your packaging as eco-friendly as possible?

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by stevendepolo]

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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