We use recycled cardboard boxes or environmentally friendly padded bags for posting. The bags are padded with recycled paper fibres. We use eco paper tape to seal our packages.
For cushioning our delicate makeup products, we use biodegradable eco peanuts made from corn starch. These degrade readily when exposed to water, so can be put in your landfill or compost bin. Some of our customers have not seen these before and have mistaken them for polystyrene packaging peanuts, but the difference is clear when you expose them to water. Furthermore, these peanuts have also been recycled to further reduce waste. Eco peanuts have been in existence for decades and do an amazing job of replacing toxic polystyrene chips.
Plastic Usage in Products
Lip glosses, lip polishes, liquid eyeliners, Light Touch Complexion, Mascaras: These products have an outer bamboo case with inner plastic tube that is removed after each product is finished. All the plastic we use is recyclable PET plastic for your reference, unless otherwise stated. Refills are sold in shrink wrap recyclable plastic.
Our pressed powders (eyeshadows, compact finishing powders, blushes, cooked powders, eyebrow powders and eyes primer) are plastic free, as they are based in a tin pan and are encased in our bamboo packaging. Refills are sold as an tin pan only. Please note that we are in the final stages of the process of switching our refill containers to biodegradable cardboard envelopes from our existing system of PET plastic, an anomaly we are very keen to eliminate. This new packaging switch is almost complete, as our current stocks deplete. However, we are still working on packaging for our Compact Foundations, as these products are domed and we need to find a packaging solution that does not crush them.
Mineral Silk Powders have an inner plastic insert and sieve, so that the product can be carried in a handbag without spilling the contents. The inner part is the refill and has a recyclable plastic lid to hygiene-seal the product on purchase.
Compact foundations come as a tin pan encased in bamboo, so are plastic free. Refills are currently sold in recyclable PET plastic due to their domed shape that means we need to change the product itself to switch to cardboard envrlopes, but this is in process
Lipsticks and concealers come with an inner plastic tube and mechanism, which comprises the refill. The refill is packaged in recyclable shrink-wrap plastic.
Pencils currently feature a plastic lid, although we have put forward a case for swapping to metal lids. These are not refillable.
Nail Polishes are sold in a glass bottle with bamboo lid, although it does require a small amount of plastic inside to make the screw mechanism function. These are not refillable.
Our skincare range is sold in recyclable PET plastic and is not refillable due to hygiene regulations (water-based products could be contaminated without a very sophisticated refill system but more than likely we will instead find a biodegradable packaging material that is truly sustainable instead)
Our liquid foundations come in glass bottles and bamboo lids, with an inner plastic pump. Ironically, we got feedback to say consumers wanted a pump but now the plastic issue has been highlighted, there is now a call for the pump to be removed, so it may disappear at some point! Refills use recyclable PP plastic and are free of outer packaging. .
You may wonder why we do not use bioplastic, but ZAO feels this is not the best answer given the lack of recycling facilities globally that can handle bioplastic, and as we are a global brand, this means it is not a truly sustainable solution for us. Bioplastic needs help to degrade, so is not compostable and so requires recycling facilities to make it sustainable, and can also contaminate existing plastic recycling. Furthermore, ti is not approved for cosmetic use by organic certifying bodies and as a certified organic brand, this means we need a safer solution for cosmetic use.
We are currently researching even more sustainable solution and hopefully affordable new packaging innovations, or recycling methods will soon emerge on the back of the anti-plastic movement.