L’Oréal Plans to Make Shampoo Bottles From Carbon Emissions

Jennifer Weil
·2 min read

PARIS — L’Oréal continues upping its sustainability practices.

The French beauty giant has teamed with Total and LanzaTech to produce the first plastic cosmetics bottle developed from industrial carbon emissions.

“This world first demonstrates the commitment of the three partners to the development of a sustainable circular economy for plastics and paves the way for opportunities for the capture and reuse of industrial carbon emissions,” L’Oréal said in a statement on Tuesday.

The three groups plan to work jointly to scale the production of such sustainable plastics and are open to working with others wanting to use such materials.

LanzaTech takes industrial carbon emissions and converts them into ethanol via a biological process. Total converts the ethanol into ethylene via a dehydration process, developed with IFP Axens, prior to polymerizing it into a polyethylene with the same technical characteristics as its fossil fuel equivalent. L’Oréal then uses the polyethylene to make packaging with the same quality and properties as traditional polyethylene, the cosmetics group said.

“L’Oréal is constantly improving the footprint of its packaging,” said Jacques Playe, the group’s packaging and development director. “With this innovation converting emissions into polyethylene, we aim to develop new sustainable packaging solutions. We have the ambition to use this sustainable material in our bottles of shampoo and conditioner by 2024, and we hope other companies will join us in using this breakthrough innovation.”

“This partnership is based on a shared goal of creating a cleaner planet for everyone,” said Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive officer of LanzaTech. “Together, we can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by converting carbon emissions into useful products, making single-use carbon a thing of the past.”

For Total, the development will contribute to the group’s commitment to attain net zero carbon emissions in Europe by 2050.

Last June, L’Oréal unveiled its sustainability goals for 2030, called L’Oréal for the Future, with targets honing in on biodiversity preservation, water management and the circular use of resources.

As part of the new program, by 2025 each new site will have attained carbon neutrality by using 100 percent renewable energy.

By 2030, all the plastics used in L’Oréal’s product packaging are to be from recycled or bio-based sources, and the group aims to half its greenhouse gas emissions per finished product versus 2016.

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