FINLAND – Helsinki-based material innovation start-up, Sulapac has created a bio-based material to aid cosmetics companies with their sustainability targets.

The Sulapac Luxe and Sulapac Luxe Flex material can substitute hard plastics while offering a “high-end luxury feel, function and aesthetics,” the start-up shares.

Dr. Suvi Haimi, Sulapac CEO and co-founder said: “Sulapac Luxe is made of sustainably sourced biodegradable biopolymers and wood flour and ideal for fragrance bottle caps, lids and cosmetic jars.

“Meanwhile, Sulapac Luxe Flex comes without the wood component. As the name indicates, it is a bit more flexible and more ductile edition – ideal not only for caps and lids but also for compact powder boxes.”

The material is high density, resistant to temperature fluctuations and recyclable, as Sulapac states that all of its materials can be made with recycled content.

In addition, the material is commercially available to all manufacturers and slips seamlessly into existing injection molding production lines.

Besides materials for injection molding and extrusion, the company’s portfolio includes solutions for thermoforming, allowing cosmetic companies to create sustainable logistic trays and point-of-sale displays, as well as for 3D printing enabling sustainable prototyping.

Colin Strobant, international sales director at Sulapac added: “One major challenge beauty brands face in replacing conventional plastics is the strict performance criteria of the chosen materials.

“With Sulapac Luxe, we have shown that conventional plastics can be easily replaced without compromising quality.

“We have listened to our customer’s challenges and the material has been through an extensive development process to ensure it stands up to the highest demands for luxury performance.”

The launch of bio-based alternatives to hard plastics comes in response to rising beauty industry demands for environmentally conscious packaging.

According to Global market researcher Innova Market Insights, “Renewable rebellion” is this year’s third-leading packaging trend.

“Many luxury brands want their fragrance caps, for example, to convey a sense of exclusivity, and this is exactly what Sulapac can provide,” explains Innova Market Insights.

“In addition to the aesthetic and usability aspects, the materials have excellent processability with existing injection molding machinery.”

In a nod to the rising demand for environmentally sustainable solutions, Sulapac details that companies actively seek alternatives for conventional plastics widely used in cosmetic packaging, including thermoset materials.

The start-up highlights that unrecyclable materials are potentially subject to restrictions by the European Commission’s upcoming Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive revision and other upcoming country-specific restrictions for certain materials, such as Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) polymer.

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