Biodegradable polymers for cosmetic packaging: A technical and life cycle perspective

Biodegradable polymers for cosmetic packaging: A technical and life cycle perspective


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Abstract. The packaging industry is a significant contributor to the plastic pollution burdening our environment. One main issue with plastics is that they are designed to be durable, and so they persevere in the environment even after they have fulfilled their use. This study aims to analyse the potential benefits of switching to biodegradable and biobased polymers in the cosmetic packaging industry to lessen their environmental impact once disposed of. This assessment commenced with a sustainable material selection process to shortlist a set of viable biodegradable candidate materials (polylactic acid and wood plastic composites), for cosmetic compacts and then comparing them to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene as the benchmark material for this application. The functional, environmental and cost implications of such a change were quantified to validate the suitability of using biodegradable polymers. Functionally, polylactic acid and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene only passed the testing conducted making wood plastic composites an unviable option. wood plastic composites and polylactic acid were found to cost 40-53 per cent more than acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. In terms of the environmental impact, polylactic acid and wood plastic composites reduced the lifecycle impact by 18-30 per cent and the end-of-life impact by 26-42 per cent. The results obtained suggest great potential in shifting to such an alternative.

Biodegradable Polymers, Sustainable Packaging, Life Cycle Assessment

Published online 4/19/2023, 10 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: MIFSUD Sarah, REFALO Paul, ROCHMAN Arif, Biodegradable polymers for cosmetic packaging: A technical and life cycle perspective, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 28, pp 2015-2024, 2023


The article was published as article 217 of the book Material Forming

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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