The Changing Face of Plastic Cosmetic Packaging

The Changing Face of Plastic Cosmetic Packaging

Since the invention of plastic, it has been the most popular and the most widely used packaging material in the cosmetic industry. The popularity of plastic has never waned, and even today, we can see cosmetics in beautiful and visually appealing plastic packaging adorning the shelves of shops. However when we look back we can see that the kind of plastic used now in the cosmetic packaging industry is very much different from the one used in the past. Let us look at the changing face of plastic in the cosmetic packaging industry.When plastic first made its appearance in cosmetic packaging, it immediately gained wide acceptance because of its vast benefits when compared to other forms of packaging, especially paper and glass. It could deliver where others failed, and this fact contributed to its immense importance in the cosmetic packaging industry.

However, as the years passed and new players entered the cosmetic arena, changing the perception of beauty in the minds of people, it led to the manufacture of a wide variety of different make-up, perfumes, skin care, body care, and hair care products. As people became more and more conscious about their looks and appearance, the number of brands also multiplied. On one hand it contributed to the growth of the cosmetic industry into a booming industry worth billions of dollars, on the other hand it led to the piling up of vast amounts of empty plastic containers, bottles, cans, pumps, dispensers, droppers, jars, tottles, and tubes. The piling up of trash in landfills brought into the limelight the issue of environmental degradation and stressed the need for more stringent measures to contain the menace of plastics.

The Plastic Menace

The factors that contribute to the durability of plastic are also behind its resistance to degrading naturally. The molecular bonds in plastics make it resistant to the natural processes of degradation. Hence, it takes hundreds of years to decompose thereby causing immense damage to the eco-system.

Eco-Friendly Plastic Cosmetic Packaging

As people became aware of the role of plastic in environmental degradation, they decided to take some concrete steps to prevent further degradation. They insisted on green packaging and denounced brands that used plastic materials for packaging. Realizing the changing preferences of shoppers, cosmetic manufacturers and cosmetic packaging manufacturers took measures to make the products as well as packaging as eco-friendly as possible.

Hence, instead of non-degradable plastic containers, manufacturers started using recyclable, recycled, and non-polluting plastics that use up very little energy in their manufacturing for packaging cosmetic products. PET, or Polyethylene terephthalate, PP, or Polypropylene, and PEHD, or Polyethylene high-density, became the most preferred bio-degradable plastic materials for packaging cosmetics.However, efforts on the part of cosmetic packaging manufacturers did not end here. Innovations are still continuing, with the latest being grass-based polypropylene lotion pumps and containers and with more to come in the near future

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Benefits of Using Good Cosmetic Packaging

Benefits of Using Good Cosmetic Packaging

Today cosmetic packaging has attained great significance due to the great attention shown by today’s shoppers not only to the quality of a product but also to its packaging. They now judge a product’s quality or the manufacturer’s credibility by its packaging. If it does not meet their standards or expectations, then the product can be out rightly rejected. Therefore, cosmetic packaging has become an integral part of marketing strategies as it can make or break product demand. Since today the cosmetic industry is overrun with competitors, good and effective cosmetic packaging is essential for cosmetic manufacturers to make their mark in the beauty industry.

Today effective cosmetic packaging is not only a successful marketing strategy to win shoppers’ attention but also essential in several other respects. Let us see the benefits of using good and effective cosmetic packaging.

Primarily good packaging, as mentioned above, helps cosmetic manufacturers in creating an identity of their own which is essential when taking into account today’s cosmetic arena. Today’s cosmetics market is overflowing with a diverse selection of skin care and hair care products that cater to different hair and skin types. Hence, cosmetic manufacturers have no other choice but to come up with different strategies to enhance their market value and ROI, and good packaging is the sure shot way of achieving that. When time pressured consumers shop for cosmetic products, they do not have time to test each product. When making random selections, cosmetic packaging is what helps them make a decision. Therefore, it is highly essential to come up with unique packaging designs, colors, and shapes to make a lasting impression in the minds of consumers.

Effective packaging helps in preserving and protecting the content from being contaminated, especially when it comes to organic cosmetics. Today more and more people are leading organic lifestyles, and therefore great care must be taken when packaging organic cosmetic products. With Great cosmetic packaging manufacturers are important since without them they wouldn’t have been able to enjoy good quality products in attractive and well-made packages, such as lotion pumps, treatment pumps, and airless pumps.

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Plastic Cosmetic Jars

Plastic Cosmetic Jars

Now adays Cosmetics are used worldwide as a substance to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Most of the people are interested in the packing of all cosmetics. For this purpose many packaging containers are used and one of the most popular is plastic cosmetic jars. plastic cosmetic jars are items made of plastic which has no handle and an opening which is greater than 50% of the diameter of the container. . If you are the professional makeup or cosmetic manufacturer or the home hobbyist you can have any type of the plastic cosmetic jars for your cosmetic. From glass and plastic containers for liquid makeup to powders, you are confident to find what you need.

You can have large preference of cosmetic packaging including a huge variety of sizes and designs of cream jars, lotion bottles and more. Personal care products command a specific modification of packaging and you can find an extensive selection of superior quality cosmetic packaging. Cosmetics can become spoiled or scratched when not stored correctly and creams can often dry up. This will never again be a problem with an appropriate packaging and finishing selection. There are different attractive and product-suitable options in a wide selection of plastic cosmetic jars. Different selection of closure options and assorted items to ensure you have everything you need for the ideal storage and packaging solution.
Sterilizing plastic cosmetic jars

Cosmetic package is the responsibility of the cosmetic care professional. The cosmetic products require a high-quality packaging. The packaging should resist the harmful chemicals. The designs of the cosmetic packages also changes with time to meet the demands of the customers. A great deal of innovation in plastic cosmetic jars is required by the cosmetic manufacturers. The usage of color is considered to be very important in cosmetics packaging. The colors used in the package act in response to the lights and the surface.
Plastic cosmetic jars are recyclable

Interested in learning more? Read more detailed writings about Plastic Cosmetic Jars right now. Visit our site for lots of great Small Plastic Jars Information.

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Cosmetic Packaging-Going Green

Cosmetic Packaging-Going Green

As people became more and more conscious about their looks, more cosmetic products find its way to bathroom cupboards. Well, there is nothing wrong in becoming particular about one’s looks and appearance or in buying cosmetic products to enhance it; but there is one hard truth that needs to be addressed at all costs. What happens or what to do with the amount of empty plastic containers, bottles, cans, pumps, dispensers, droppers, jars, tottles, and tubes that get piled up. Not only that, what about the amount of cardboard containers, ribbons, tissues, sequins, and cloth bags used to package the product? Now, “going green” is in high demand and customers are beginning to become more aware of which products are harmful to the environment. Whether it’s a trend or an actual awareness of the down turn of our environment and economy, the issue is being raised in many topics, including product manufacturing.

At a time when global warming and climate change issues are threatening our existence, there is the urgent need to do our bit to make our planet a better and safer place to live in for the coming generation. Therefore, what can do to reduce the amount of toxic waste that is ruining our environment?

Green Consciousness

Having understood the implications of being unresponsive to environmental issues, people are now insisting for green packaging. Apart from price and quality of the products, the other important factor that is influencing the buyer’s decision is now packaging. Understanding the changing trends of shopper’s psychology, some cosmetic packaging manufacturers are taking numerous measures to embrace environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

Green Initiatives

Though it is still in the infancy stage, some measures have been implemented by the manufacturers as part of their green drive, and these include:

Green Packaging Options
Manufacturers have now embraced the idea of providing eco-friendly packaging options. With the concern for going green, customers are willing to pay an extra dollar or two knowing that the product and packaging is not harmful or toxic to our environment. Manufacturers are increasingly using eco-friendly products such as paper, bamboo, wood, plastic composite, airless pump bottles and more for packaging.

Making Recyclable Plastic Containers
Instead of using non-degradable plastic containers, manufacturers have started using recyclable products to reduce environmental waste. Now, it’s more simple to design a concept around eco-friendly products when the packaging can all we made of bio-degradable material.

Many people have awakened to the truth and have become environmentally conscious making it crucial for manufacturers to always provide customization and options for their customers.

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Marketing And Sample Packaging Services Are Beneficial For Cosmetic Companies

Marketing And Sample Packaging Services Are Beneficial For Cosmetic Companies

Two most important tools for cosmetic companies to improve and develop their image are marketing and sample packaging services. Free cosmetic samples packed nicely help cosmetic companies to launch new products or to reach new markets thus enhancing profitability. Most cosmetic and other consumer product companies are using these techniques and getting best results. To ensure that this marketing technique works well, suggestions of marketing professionals with the right knowledge and experience must be adhered to.

By using FREE sample marketing strategy to its advantage, any company can introduce or sell its products to potential buyers. It is a method used to attract more customers and improve the overall profitability of any company. Marketing and sample packaging is especially popular in cosmetic industry as the consumers first wish to try the products before actually buying them as they are expensive. Marketing samples are therefore used in cosmetic businesses as a popular marketing component. Cosmetics rely heavily on the image perceived by customers, cosmetics are bound to use this method if they want to reach their goals. Therefore, cosmetic companies aim at taking best marketing and sample packaging services by improving their image in the eyes of the audience.

Sample packaging is used by most firms in the beauty industry to allow potential customers know what the product is like. By seeing the sample package, people readily want to try the product. A sample packaging service is therefore very important part of a marketing campaign. An attractive and handy package can add to the overall appeal of a product. With impressive marketing and sample packaging services, you can compel the users to first try your product and then buy it once they are satisfied.

Usually, big companies have their own packaging departments, but many other cosmetic companies rely on other firms that offer specialized services. Marketing and sample packaging services are offered by professional and specialized companies these days. They research the market and then develop a strategy for each product separately. If talking about marketing, they usually first find out what the customers want or need and then try to respond to these needs. For packaging services, it is very important that the package meets some key characteristics like: attractiveness, accessibility, informative and if possible are recyclable.

By considering all these aspects, any business can understand how beneficial sample packaging is for their success. Maybe more than others, cosmetic companies need to use marketing and sample packaging services to assure that they reach their market in the best way. Not only it is to their advantage using them, but it becomes almost an essential part of any business in this sector. Cosmetic companies rely heavily on marketing services to sell their products and the sample packaging services are used to encourage the consumers take the first step to buying which is trying the product.

Jason Bean is an expert on Airless Plastic Packaging and has been working in the Field for the past 12 years. For more information on Glass Shower Doors please visit: Foil Pack Alternatives

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Different Cosmetic Packaging Options

Different Cosmetic Packaging Options

Today the cosmetic industry is witnessing an influx of new ranges of beauty products both in skin care and hair care. With so many products on the market, the only way to attract the attention of customers is to package products attractively. Let’s look at some of the packaging solutions currently available to manufacturers.

Airless Bottles

Airless bottles are used for dispensing creams, shampoos, lotions and so on. The greatest advantage of airless bottles is that they help preserve content and keep it from becoming contaminated. Since there is no need to open them to dispense the product, the possibility of contamination by direct contact with fingers, air, etc., is prevented. Airless bottles are available in various shapes and sizes.


Pumps are used for dispensing products such as creams, lotions, soaps, and shampoos. Pumps dispense contents easily and correctly.


Triggers dispense contents for sprayers and foamers. These are available in various designs and colors.

Flip Tops

Flip tops are often found fitted on screw caps. Products that come with flip tops offer users two different options for using the content. The user can dispense the content by either opening the cap or just flipping the top. Flip tops enable the easy dispensing of content, neatly and in the correct measurements.


Some manufacturers use jars for storing creams. With a wide mouth design, jars allow content to be taken out easily with fingers. However, users must clean their hands thoroughly before taking cream out of a jar to minimize the possibility of contamination. Jars are available in various shapes and are often made of glass or plastic.


Tubes are mainly used for storing all kinds of creams, be it skin creams, shaving creams, or others. These need to be squeezed to dispense the product.

Roll-on Bottle

Roll-ons are especially useful when you are on the go because they are convenient to carry and use. Roll-ons are small containers or bottles with a rolling ball at one end that applies the content directly onto the body. Deodorants normally come in roll-on bottles.


Droppers dispense liquid content neatly in tiny droplets.


Tottles are designed to be a cross between a tube and a bottle. A tottle stands on its top so the content is always at the orifice, making it easy to dispense. No need to squeeze or pump,. just open and use. It is available in a myriad of designs, sizes, and materials.

Foil Pouches

Aluminum foil pouches are typically used for packing ointments, grease-based cosmetics and other similar things. Some advantages of foil pouches are that they require less storage space and facilitate longer shelf life. Moreover, they are nontoxic, hygienic, and non-absorptive to liquids.


Foamers turn contents into rich foam. Foamers are mostly used for dispensing shaving creams, soaps and so on. Foamers come on bottles with or without pumps.


Sprayers, as the name implies, distribute liquids over an area. Sprayers are mainly used for perfumes, deodorants, and so on. Sprayers differ in the way they spray liquids; some squirt while others mist. Fine mist sprayers are quite in demand these days.

As mentioned above, these are just the current designs available to manufacturers. There are also several customized cosmetic packaging designers and manufacturers available now who leave no stone unturned to bring distinctiveness and exclusivity not only in designs but also in the use of materials.


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Is Cosmetic Surgery Always the Answer?

Is Cosmetic Surgery Always the Answer?

Thanks to recent advances in surgical techniques and equipment, cosmetic surgery is more specialized than ever. You can literally have the fat sucked out of your thighs through liposuction or your breasts enlarged to your idea of perfection with saline or silicone implants within just a few hours.

And cosmetic surgery isn’t just a predominately female deal any longer. Men are having all sorts of cosmetic surgical procedures done these days. Everything from nose jobs (rhinoplasty) to face lifts to eye lifts are fair game in the male arena these days.

The technological advances that have made cosmetic surgery easier and less expensive, not to mention a great deal less painful than in the past, do not account for the meteoric rise in the number of people having plastic surgery, nor for the fact that it has now become common for both genders.

This rise is, in fact, more due to the fact that in American culture there are few things more highly prized than a person’s looks. Studies have been done that prove the more attractive a person is the more likely they’ll get a job, regardless of how much more skill and experience other people applying for the same job may have.

Images of perfect men and women on television, in print ads, movies, music videos and everywhere else have made people in our culture believe that if they just look a certain way, then everything else in their lives will be fine, even great.

And with famous celebrities touting their cosmetic surgery in front of us daily on television and in movies, it’s easy for anyone to believe that if we just looked better, our lives would be perfect.

Now the reality is that a nose job changes just that: the nose. It does nothing to lift a burden of debt or exchange a lackluster love life for the romantic adventure of a lifetime.

Yes, having cosmetic surgical procedures done can give someone a quick boost to their self-esteem, but it won’t last as long as the nose job will unless they do some serious positive thinking and inner work along with it. Confidence and self-esteem come from the inside, and changing the outside will only bring temporary relief for those who suffer from deep feelings of inferiority.

So before rushing out to the nearest cosmetic surgeon, anyone considering cosmetic surgery should take a good look at their inside first! If having a cosmetic surgical procedure done will add to their life, great. It’s probably a good idea and will enhance their self-esteem and bring them pleasure.

But. If a person thinks that any cosmetic surgery procedure will change their life and make their life perfect (or make them instantly successful and eliminate all their problems), they are in for a rude awakening, I’m sorry to say. Unless the necessary inner work is done to match the outer work, a person can actually become even more insecure than before which often leads to deep depression.

Why? Because they’ll ultimately be disappointed over the fact they’re still pretty much stuck with their same old self. The person in the mirror may look better, but if they haven’t taken stock and gotten rid of negative thinking about themselves, they won’t really feel better-they’ll just have a perfect sexy cleft in their chins or bigger boobs that they didn’t have before.

Cosmetic surgery is not something to undertake lightly or to be used as a method for changing your life, but when done to enhance your life and give you a feeling of satisfaction and/or pleasure, then by all means, find a properly licensed cosmetic surgeon.

Ask for their advice and counsel, as well as their credentials and experience in whatever procedure you want to have done. If the fit between your desires and the cosmetic surgeon’s expertise is right, by all means, have your cosmetic surgery and enjoy-just don’t expect it to change your life!

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Cosmetic Surgery ? is Anti-wrinkle Cream an Alternative?

Cosmetic Surgery ? is Anti-wrinkle Cream an Alternative?

There are many supposed “miracle” creams that promise to be an alternative to cosmetic surgery in a jar, but are they really that?

The thing to remember is that the vast majority of these creams only penetrate as far as the top few layers of the skin meaning they don’t get to the deeper areas which are the cause of sagging contours and age related lines due to collagen depletion and sun damage.

Many Creams advertise themselves as being an alternative to a facelift or botox and it is easy to be taken in by the seemingly brilliant results shown in the advert. To begin with, botox needs to be injected into the muscles of the face and to correct sagging contours, muscles need to be tightened and excess skin removed. This, as you can imagine, is hard to achieve with a cream that only penetrates the top layers of the epidermis.

In recent studies it has been shown that the most effective facial creams are those which contain a sun factor protection as sun damage accounts for the majority of what we perceive to be aging of the skin. It was shown that the leading and well known anti-aging skin creams did nothing to either reverse or halt the aging process. For a company to be able to claim its products are anti-aging it currently needs only to put a sun protection additive in. It is also worth remembering that these creams do not have to pass any strict tests as they are classed as cosmetics.

This doesn’t of course mean that no cream will work for you, it is however prudent not to expect miracles so that you won’t be disappointed if they are not delivered. Another reason for their ineffectiveness comes down to the majority of the creams being designed to target one particular cause of aging or one particular area. This can also make this non-surgical alternative just as expensive in the long run as you will need several different products to target different things.

If you have tried your fair share of anti-aging creams and have now made the decision to opt for cosmetic surgery you should ensure you research the technique you are looking at and seek an experienced surgeon to carry out the plastic surgery.


James Wilkinson is a Uk based author with experience within the cosmetics industry.

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Cosmetic changes in labelling

Cosmetic changes in labelling

Cosmetics/toiletry labelling is arguably one of the industry’s most interesting and challenging sectors. Its special needs have established the combination press and given us the ‘no-label look’ using the latest advances in filmic technology.

Quality and originality are central to the image-conscious cosmetics/toiletries sector. Production commonly involves six or more colours using a mix of mainstream processes and a wide choice of materials. Technically, but also commercially, this business has become much more specialised in recent years. And while accounting for just 5-6 per cent by volume of all self adhesive conversion, it has nevertheless prompted many of the industry’s innovations.

Annual volume growth is 8-10 per cent, which is generally higher than that of the food or pharmaceutical sectors. Labels & Labelling Consultancy also reports that growth is nearer 15 per cent in such markets as men’s toiletries and hair-care products. Annual growth by value is higher at 10 per cent. The total Western European market size for this sector is estimated at around £180 million, but is expected to reach nearer £300 million during the next three or four years.

Of course, self adhesive label converters do not have it all to themselves. Shrink sleeves, film wraps and some in-mould labels are also used with good effect for mass-market toiletry products. In this area, packaging managers also specify huge volumes of metal and plastics containers using one or more direct printing techniques.

Generally, a higher-than-average added value input contributes to the sector’s reputation for earning good profits. But they are well earned. Converters must work closely with their customers, perhaps sourcing materials and carrying out trials to determine printability, compatibility with a container and dispensing properties. Ideally, discussions should start at the idea stage, or at least before repro work begins.

Close collaboration with trade suppliers, including press manufacturers, to iron out likely production problems is essential. Even worse is being asked to hold large stocks of pre-printed labels for call-off, only to see a sudden change in branding requirements during the job’s history. This may involve an unrecoverable loss of revenue, again upholding the general ruthlessness that cosmetics/toiletry packaging buyers have towards all their suppliers.

This sector generally remains competitive, particularly at the mass-market end where the technical price of entry is lower. Here, the intense battles for market shares among manufacturers include retailers’ own-brand products. Label pricing levels are more of an issue, but are less intense than in the food/drinks and general supermarket sectors. The pressure on turning jobs around quickly remains: as elsewhere the accent is on smaller run lengths and just-in-time deliveries. Flexibility is also important in serving a business geared increasingly to seasonal demands and international marketing promotions.

Not surprisingly, converters need specialised expertise and shopfloor skills to produce labels for up-market products. That means investing in up-to date equipment, which tends to favour the larger organisations. Field Packaging Nottingham exemplifies how some companies play for high stakes. It bought the Boots Company’s in-house facility in 1993 and later built a modern factory to produce cartons and labels to ISO 9002 standard. Its equipment is no less state-of-the-art: A Gallus R300 combination press, Aquaflex UV flexo press and a nine-unit version of Nilpeter’s new B200 letterpress/UV flexo machine.

Gary Yates, production manager, confirms the pressure of serving an increasingly competitive market: ‘With delivery times now measured in days, we are having to push our presses to extremes. Shorter runs means we convert 1.7 reels for average jobs. We have also noticed a strong increase in the ‘no-label look’ as an extension of the higher quality standards buyers now expect. Filmics now account for some 80 per cent of our volume and lately we have included multi-layer engineered substrates.

Market profile
As the crowded cosmetic/toiletry shelves of any individual store or supermarket confirm, this market supports hundreds of different products. Strong competition means manufacturers spend fortunes on promoting often high-priced brands to attract sophisticated and fickle consumers. It is a fast-changing industry, with new product launches, new packaging for old products and price pressures that create a tendency towards economy of scale. Where famous brands remain unchanged, presentation becomes even more crucial, with consequent pressures on all aspects of packaging. The pack and labelling must work hard to seduce customers and promote a brand’s carefully nurtured image in well-defined market segments.

It obviously works. Even during recessions, consumers still search for the feel-good factor – however illusionary – by buying expensive fragrances and cosmetics, and also more day-to-day products. France spends over three times as much on perfumes and fragrances and twice as much on cosmetics/toiletries as Germany, Italy and the UK combined. It is no accident that, as in Italy, the top fashion houses now earn more from own-brand fragrances than selling high-ticket garments to a dwindling clientele. French converters therefore figure prominently in this market, although many mass-market products sold in France by global players would have their labels printed elsewhere.

Naturally, fashion and beauty fads play a part, hence the so-called ‘essential’ and ‘natural’ products. The latest skin creams, facial scrubs, lotions and moisturisers reflect a more fashionable minimalist look for make-up throughout much of the developed world. Changing social attitudes and generally higher disposable incomes also reflect more self-indulgence among both sexes in the use of up-market fragrances and toiletries.

End-use markets by value looks something like this, although market shares may vary between different European countries.

A handful of global groups and independents with enormous buying power and clout dominate the business, notably Proctor & Gamble, L’Oreal, Coty, Elida-Gibbs, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Avon, max Factor and Rewlon, added to which are the traditional French fragrance houses of varying size and influence, while supermarket groups work with repackagers to create their own brands.

Franchise organisations like the Body Shop add further diversity. It pioneered selling organically-based products with minimal packaging, including recyclable plastic bottles, which other organisations later adopted. Incidentally, founder Anita Roddick once said: ‘The main products of the cosmetics industry are packaging, garbage and waste. The Body Shop chooses to go in the opposite direction.’

Plastics everywhere
The cosmetic/toiletries industry is now a particularly large user of thermo-formed, injected, extruded or blow-moulded rigid plastics containers. Labelling plastics containers is usually trouble free, but sometimes manufacturers apply too much silicone – used to aid the removal of plastic containers from the mould – it is not always apparent and can lead to edge lifting and reduced adhesive efficiency.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polyester (PET) can produce practically any desired shape, with the added benefit of lightness in weight. Keith Barnes, packaging innovations manager for Boots, confirms that PVC remains in use (with PVC labels), despite its perceived reputation as being a pollutant by the green lobby in Northern Europe. They would approve, however, of PET’s elevation into mainstream packaging – even for mineral water –due to cheaper polymer prices and rising manufacturing capacity. With its inherent lightness, strength, recyclability and clarity, PET is an ideal packaging material, even for premium products. However, glass remains the prime choice for all luxury fragrances and many skin-care products.

Plastics and their recyclability are topical issues, as is filmic labelling and substrate compatibility. It sounds fine in practice, but the practicalities of waste recovery in the packaging chain and the position on meeting EU directives remain as confusing as ever. As it is, packaging plastics have inherent recycling and recovery problems compared with other materials. For example, polyethylene (PE) absorbs most substances, which limits usage to downstream industrial applications as a recyclate: it is not suitable for food, health and beauty products.

However, plastic container manufacturing is now a huge global industry and has spawned many ancillary technologies. One is in-mould labelling (IML), where the paper, filmic or synthetic-paper label integrates with the container’s surface. Boosted by the growth of plastics packaging, IML offers benefits of economies and performance at the long-run end. This applies more to fast-moving dairy products, such as low-fat spreads, and domestic and industrial cleaners. Even with mass-market toiletries, the proliferation of pack sizes for each brand tends to rule out more general usage.

Incidentally, in Europe, growth has come from injection-moulded pots and tubs and more recently with the thermo-forming process. Blow-moulded containers are more popular in North America. Many hair-care products are packaged this way, often using the latest ultra-thin OPP films made for this purpose.

Shrink-sleeving and film wraps have much wider usage in this sector. Fuji Seal, Sleever International, Engraph/Sonoco, LMG Superior Packaging and Topflight Corporation are among those producing sleeves and wraps as an alternate primary decorative method for toiletries and cosmetics in various containers.

Shrink sleeves also offer tamper-evidence features, using tear strips and perforations across and along the sleeve. Integrated holograms can add an additional anti-counterfeiting role, as they do in self-adhesive labellingfor protecting certain high-value products. Sleeves also allow end-users to band together variable-size products, such as trial offers of shampoos. As with filmic labelling, the surface offers high scuff and moisture resistance. An added protective feature comes from printing the image in reverse behind the film’s surface: to a full 360-degrees and topto-bottom if needed. Once dominated by pre-stretched PVC, materials like OPP, PET and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are now available in a variety of surface finishes.

Recent innovations include Sleever’s Seelpack BRI, a double or mono construction featuring a patented peelable coupon for money-off discounts, while retaining pack integrity. Equally unique – in a sleeving sense – is its NotiSleeve, which combines a paper reclosable leaflet of up to nine pages for extra product information or instructions. Sleevers also developed an oriented polystyrene shrink sleeve for a L’Oreal hairspray aerosol made from transparent PET. The sleeve acts as a UV barrier and carries striking all-round graphics on a metallic-looking container.

Direct printing of glass bottles and jars, metal boxes and aerosols and plastic tubes is the major alternative to self adhesive labelling for mass-market toiletries. Obviously run lengths must be long enough to justify the expense and storage logistics of maintaining a steady supply of containers at the filling point. Printing is typically by screen process, hot-foil or offset-litho, depending on the material, and often to high quality standards. Interestingly, the British Aerosol Manufacturers Association reports that production rose 16 per cent last year to 1.24 billion units. Personal and hair care products were among the fastest growing categories. ‘European production outstrips that of the USA and the UK now dominates Europe,’ said the BAMA’s director.

Material factors
As noted earlier, the special needs of this sector means that filmics have replaced paper facestocks in many instances. Paper’s lower costs still makes it the favourite for many mass-market applications, especially healthcare products in glass containers. Most grades are premium-quality wood-frees, invariably off-machine coated to give gloss or matt effects. Cast-coated grades give higher-quality results. They may also be over-laminated or UV varnished for extra gloss and added protection in cases where the contents could stain the label or remove the printed image. Paper labels affixed to a clear container are sometimes delaminated for printing extra information on the reverse side.

Although the paper/filmic price ratio has narrowed in recent years, performance characteristics over-ride cost considerations in this sector. Filmic benefits include durability, moisture resistance and finished ranging from ultra-clear to metallised to achieve many decorative effects. The ‘no-label look’, which emphasises the pack’s graphics, is now considered as a cost-effective alternative to direct decoration.

As elsewhere, PE and PP made from high-yield polyolefins lead filmic growth. Derived from hydrocarbons, they are recyclable with other polyolefin containers. PET’s higher-cost resins produce label films with good strength, dimensional stability and exceptional clarity. Polystyrene (PS) has a small share of the cosmetics/toiletries market, including in-mould labels. As mentioned earlier, PVC’s chlorine-base manufacture has largely marginalized this material for environmental reasons, although it clings on. It retains wide usage for industrial labelling and exterior signage applications.

Technically, the traditional blown film extrusion process associated with PE has given way to the cast co-extruded multi-layer process for both PE and PP filmics. Blown and cast films are increasingly biaxially-oriented. This stretching process provides stiffness in the machine direction, resulting in improved clarity, printability anddispensing. Stretching in the cross direction improves squeezability characteristics. Biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) is a common example.

Multiple layers
Engineered films take the co-extrusion process a stage further to produce multiple layers (usually three) of dissimilar PE or PP-based polyolefins. They allow specific properties, such as good anchorage to an adhesive and good ink receptivity. This opens customising options using matt, gloss, transparent, textured or opaque finishes, even anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evident features including micro-taggants. Early examples includeAvery Dennison’s FasClear, a matt clear film for opaque and pearlescent plastic containers, and the matt white Primax version. This type of product resists creasing or wrinkling on squeezable containers.

A cost-cutting development is simply to ‘downguage’ the facestock to produce a thinner film. We have seen 120-micron PE give way to 100-micron PE film, which with an emulsion adhesive is often used for labelling squeezable plastic bottles. Companies like Avery Dennison, Jackstädt, Raflatac and Ritrama have now introduced 80-micron products. They retain the same characteristics, but with a less visible edge than higher calliper films. Thinner films of all types also means longer reels to help reduce changeover times.

Another filmic development is to substitute glassine and super-calendered kraft liners with siliconised filmic liners. Advantages include transparency, fibre-free smoothness, dimensional stability and good strength for high-speed printing and dispensing. Of course, non-paper liners cost more, and heat stability can be a problem on some presses. 

Combining a PET facestock with a PET liner offers the ultimate clear-on-clear laminate for luxury labelling. A cheaper solution is to combine a top-coated PP facestock with a PET release liner. Now we are seeing even lower-priced alternatives that derive from a new generation of BOPP films for liners.

For example, Jackstädt now offers its highly transparent top-coated Ultraclear (PP/PET) with a lower-priced alternative to PP liner. The laminate includes an acrylic-based permanent adhesive. MACtac also highlights clear-on-clear labelling with the PET/PET and PP/PET Medallist range, which now includes Medaclear, a PP/PP laminate with emulsion adhesive for medium-range products with fewer demands.

Besides PP and PE with paper or film liners, Tagsa has begun producing for this sector a synthetic paper-based PET in white or clear called Crispan. It also supplies a PET/PET, claimed to give exceptional clarity and manufactured in Japan by Lintec Corporation to ‘NASA standard clean-room conditions’.

As to printing processes, this sector led the development of UV-equipped combination presses, primarily by Nilpeter, Gallus and Comco. Many European converters of small-run cosmetic/toiletry labels still rely on flatbed/semi-rotary and rotary UV letterpress machines, augmented with over-laminating, embossing, hot-foiling and varnishing. However, the true specialists invariably benefit from the quality and flexibility expected from today’s combination presses. These variously include conventional flexo, rotary screen, rotary letterpress and more recently UV flexo and offset.

With a high filmic usage and the need for bold graphics, ink capacity is a major deciding factor. It opened the way for UV rotary screen because it delivers dense and glossy solids – including solid white backgrounds – while reproducing fine-line work. Hot-foil stamping with its rich metallic effects is also used widely, either as a secondary in-line process or as a dedicated printing machine. (Metallised filmics achieve nearly the same results and are more cost effective for small areas. Printing yellow on a standard silver finish to obtain a gold effect is a common procedure.)

On-line variable data printing on label presses is possible using digital print engines for bar codes and batch codes for product traceability. However, as happens with pharmaceutical labelling, most end-users have adopted ink jet printing. An alternate solution is to handle this process at the off-line inspection stage, using the latest high-speed machines.

To sum up, the cosmetics/toiletries sector offers much potential for profitable growth. While any adequately-equipped converter could produce the more standard products, serving the higher end of the market needs the willingness to specialise and invest heavily in all aspects of their production. Accreditation to ISO 9002 and quality assurance schemes is often essential. Price is not generally the most important criteria, but technical knowledge, creativity, service and consistent quality of the printed results are particularly important. Day-by-day access to efficient origination and platemaking systems is vitally important (This is one labelling area that would particularly benefit from any future affordable computer-to-plate developments.)

Consequently, it is becoming harder for companies to enter this sector in a meaningful way. As with pharmaceutical labelling, the global branding initiatives of the major manufacturers dictate the market’s pattern. Nowadays, they rely on just a few strategically-placed suppliers for all their packaging needs, rather than a larger pool of regional suppliers. Despite a declining supplier base, however, there will always be niche markets open to those who can rise to the challenges.

Future developments will help. For example, the usage of digital colour printing for extra short runs and trial runs for regional marketing campaigns. This is already possible on the Nilpeter/Xeikon DC-3300 and the six-colour Indigo Omnius, with its Gallus and Comco print/finishing derivatives.

Many other interesting developments are in the pipeline. They include the DAS linerless label, UV-curable adhesives and printable ‘liquid paper’ (see the adhesives and coatings conference report in this issue). If press manufacturers perceive a market for it, the idea of a fully-integrated labelstock and print production machine is not too fanciful – as opposed to retro-fit coating modules – given recent progress in these areas. It is also highly likely the first label products produced this way will sell something that smells, in the nicest possible way of course.

Cri Davies is marketing manager for Etiquette Labels – UK Independent Experts in Labels, Label Printing, and Label Printing Solutions. For more information visit the Etiquette Network

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Cosmetic Products Packaging is a Highly Technical Field Involving the Latest in Industrial Science and Space Age Technology

Cosmetic Products Packaging is a Highly Technical Field Involving the Latest in Industrial Science and Space Age Technology

Azusa, CA – Businesses use a wide range of packaging on a daily basis but what most companies look for more than a simple plastic bottles manufacturer is a packaging company that will provide business solutions and innovative packaging at fair and competitive pricing.

The variety of cosmetic products packaging takes on all kinds of shapes, sizes and functionalities. The list is endless; airless bottles, atomizers, foamer bottles, jars, tubes, sprayers, triggers, cans, canisters and droppers. The right package to hold a particular product has become far more complicated than in the early days of the industrial revolution when most liquids had to settle for a simple packing glass bottle container.

The plastic bottles manufacturer industry is a very competitive business these days and the need to be a step ahead of the rest of the pack makes being innovative and knowledgeable in the newest technologies and chemical compounds a requirement for being successful. Changes in packaging materials along with fluctuating costs equates to a manufacturer being up to date in their development department as well as have the ability to maximize effective methods for producing highly sustainable products.

Adding to the mix of fiscal management and manufacturing efficiency is the need to incorporate more green technologies in the every day products. One such company that has been successful at balancing the many levels of the industry is Arminak-Associates.

A leader in plastic bottles manufacturing and cosmetic products packaging, Arminak has introduced an elegant line of Cosmetics Packaging made from a renewable, biodegradable polymer. This new green process significantly lowers the carbon foot print when compared to more traditional petroleum based plastic resin and provides for a better recyclable product that still maintains its high sustainability.

“You don’t have to compromise aesthetics or performance to satisfy customer demands for environmentally friendly packaging.”

Everyday millions of consumers lift, tote, and carry a huge selection of plastic containers with an equal variety of items inside. Since the introduction of plastics in the early 20th century people have been relying on the different kinds of packaging that plastics can be formed into. Each year new polymers are discovered and with each new application comes a new challenge for both the manufacturing industry and the products company that uses them.

But without the innovative resourcefulness of companies like Arminak & Associates the world of convenience and simplicity would become a battle ground over how to provide cost effective packaging without hurting the budget or sacrificing the planet.

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