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Cosmetic packaging reuse: a coalition to explore the deposit challenge!

Faced with the urgent need to protect the environment, strengthen regulatory obligations and meet growing consumer expectations, we are mobilizing to help the cosmetics industry accelerate its efforts to reuse packaging.

Cosmetic packaging reuse: a coalition to explore the deposit challenge!

Since December 2023, 11 leading companies in the cosmetics industry (L'Oréal, CHANEL Parfums Beauté, Pierre Fabre, Laboratoires SVR, Yves Rocher, Clarins, Melvita, La Rosée, Aromazone, Nocibé and Séphora) have joined forces in our coalition to explore the opportunities and challenges of implementing a deposit system for cosmetic products .

Launched with the support of We Don't Need Roads and Citeo's reuse fund, this coalition aims to launch a pilot deposit scheme on point-of-sale skincare products by the end of 2024. An initiative that reflects the industry's collective determination to reduce single-use packaging, in line with the ambitions of the AGEC law.

The advantages of the deposit for re-use model

The deposit for reuse model is interesting on three levels for players in the cosmetics industry: 

  • Environmental: as companies actively seek to reduce their reliance on single-use packaging, while reducing the CO2 emissions and water consumption associated with their activity, deposit for reuse offers the potential to achieve significant environmental gains, contributing to the overall sustainability of operations. 
  • Regulatory: at both European and French level, the trend is resolutely towards greater promotion of reuse. In France, the AGEC law sets a target of no more single-use plastic packaging on the market by 2040. Intermediate targets are also specified by decree, requiring 7% of packaging to be reused by 2025, and 10% by 2027. At European level, a draft regulation on packaging and packaging waste, scheduled for 2025, aims to reduce and prevent the production of such waste. A regulatory framework that encourages the adoption of reuse models, such as deposits. 
  • Consumers: the deposit model is in line with the aspirations of the French, who are tending to adopt more sustainable consumption practices. According to a recent study, 88% have already adopted reuse practices, and 94% say they are ready to switch to reusing their shampoo bottles.  

Against this backdrop, the cosmetics industry is called upon to innovate and collaborate to meet environmental challenges, regulatory obligations and consumers' eco-responsible aspirations.

The ambitions of the cosmetics and re-use coalition

To respond effectively to these challenges, Circul'R set itself the challenge of bringing together 9 major beauty brands (L'Oréal, CHANEL Parfums Beauté, Pierre Fabre, Laboratoires SVR, Yves Rocher, Clarins, Melvita, La Rosée and Aromazone) and 2 distributors (Nocibé and Séphora) in a coalition, with the conviction that building viable circular solutions requires cooperation within the industry .

Over the coming months, these companies will benefit not only from our expertise in the circular economy, but also from the support of We Don't Need Roads, a strategy and reinvention consultancy for sustainable business transformation, under the direction of Arnaud Lancelot (Director of the REINVENTION division at WDNR and ex-founder of Cozie). Supported by Citeo's reuse fund, the coalition is aiming to launch a pilot deposit scheme for point-of-sale skincare products by the end of 2024.

According to Jules Coignard, co-founder of Circul'R, "the deposit model for cosmetics remains largely unexplored in France, if not non-existent. Our ambition is to develop it, and doing so in coalition is an essential strategy. Indeed, pooling flows enables us to substantially reduce costs, both economically and environmentally. This collective dynamic also facilitates the commitment of washers and consumers, thanks to a harmonized approach and standards across the different brands. Finally, the fact that the coalition's members include major industry players reinforces our power of conviction with public institutions, thus contributing to a positive evolution of the deposit model in France."

According to Arnaud Lancelot, Reinvention Director at WDNR and ex-founder of Cozie, "founding Cozie gave me the opportunity to tackle all the operational complexities involved in setting up a deposit network. This experience will enable me to share valuable lessons with the coalition participants, particularly on aspects such as product and packaging selection, efficient supply chain management for bottle collection, and the technical skills required in the washing and traceability processes. These are all essential elements in the successful implementation of an efficient deposit system."