AS PART of its ongoing sustainability initiatives, L’Oreal has introduced “green packaging” for its skincare brand, Garnier. These include replacing bubble wrap with honeycomb paper and cassava starch bags in place of plastic packaging.

“Our constant search for innovation and reinvention of consumer experience fuels us at Garnier to lead the change in creating a sustainable world of beauty. By assessing how we work and the key areas of our value chain where we can find more sustainable alternatives, we can create a positive impact on the environment and give our consumers a better and more holistic beauty experience,” Isabel Falco, marketing director of Garnier and L’Oreal Paris Philippines, said in a statement.

Purchases made from Garnier through its official store on e-commerce platform Shopee will come in packaging that is meant to be sustainable and eco-friendly: honeycomb paper will replace bubble wrap while bags made from cassava starch will replace plastic packaging.

The honeycomb paper is made by EcoNest Philippines and is a “patented 3D die-cut paper made from FSC certified virgin craft paper with an interleaf tissue that provides excellent surface protection to prevent possible damages and abrasion when wrapping and handling parcels,” said the release.

Meanwhile, the cassava starch bags are made by SainBags, an Indonesian-based company. The bags are said to be biodegradable and compostable and will leave “no toxic residues causing no damage to our oceans, waterways, land and are harmless to animals and plants.”

The full roll-out of the Garnier eco-packaging is scheduled for November in Shopee. The same roll-out of eco-packaging in other e-commerce platforms has not been announced.

BusinessWorld got a hold of the packaging and some Garnier products a week ago. A note on the cassava starch bags — which have a texture similar to a balloon — states that they can either be “cut into small pieces and dissolved in warm water,” can function as fertilizer for plants (it degrades in 90 days), or can be thrown away without guilt. The honeycomb paper has a texture of stiff craft paper.

L’Oreal had been hinting since August that it would be using eco-packaging for some brands in the Philippines. (READ MORE:

But  L’Oreal admitted that the shift to eco-packaging comes at a “higher cost” than the usual plastic packaging.

“At the beginning it will come at a higher cost — that’s normal with every first endeavor. But the intent was definitely that [prices will come down] as we drive scale,” Ms. Falco said during the online launch on Oct. 23 via Microsoft Teams.

Higher costs for packaging notwithstanding, Ms. Falco said that they do not plan to increase their suggested retail prices.

Other brands in the L’Oreal fold will also be shifting to eco-packaging soon, said Supriya Singh, the country managing director for L’Oreal Philippines, in the same launch.

“We will see other brands doing this, it’s not just Garnier… we will continue to expand to all of our brands in the portfolio but we have not locked dates for all of them yet, but rest assured that it will not be too far away,” Ms. Singh said. — Zsarlene B. Chua