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HomeBusiness TipsEstee Lauder Is Creating the First Recyclable Paper Bottle in the Beauty Industry: What It Means for the Future of Packaging

Estee Lauder Is Creating the First Recyclable Paper Bottle in the Beauty Industry: What It Means for the Future of Packaging

When most people think of bottles, they picture plastic or glass ones. Estee Lauder hopes to change this. It is working to become the first company in the beauty industry to use a recyclable paper bottle to hold its products.

Estee Lauder Is Partnering with Pulpex

To develop this industry-first, Estee Lauder Companies joined the Pulpex partner consortium in late 2021.

Pulpex’s Paper Bottle

This is important because Pulpex claims to have created a paper bottle. More impressively, that paper bottle comes from wood pulp that uses FSC-certified renewable feedstocks that come from responsibly managed forests. The consortium hopes that this bottle will be able to be recycled in the typical waste streams.

The consortium also features Diageo PLC and Pilot Lite Group. Pulpex is no stranger to collaborations that further its development of this bottle. Earlier in 2021, the company signed a joint development agreement with Stora Enso. This agreement involves using the Stora Enso formed fiber material to make the paper bottles. Stora Enso makes the formed fiber by pressing wood-based pulps in molding machines.

BASF also recently announced that it is working with Pulpex. The company’s role will be to make a food-grade barrier technology to use in the paper bottles.

How Estee Lauder Will Use the Bottle

Estee Lauder is aiming high with its goals for this recyclable paper bottle. It plans to use the bottle across most of the brands that are part of Estee Lauder Companies. As a refresher, that includes Estee Lauder, Michael Kors, DKNY, and Clinique.

Estee Lauder Has Other Sustainable Goals as Well

The adoption of this paper bottle is far from the only sustainable goal that Estee Lauder Companies has publicly announced.

It also made a commitment to halve the virgin petroleum plastic it uses in its packaging (or reduce it by more) by the time 2030 comes to an end.

Additionally, the company also has FSC-certification goals for 2025. Specifically, it hopes to have 100 percent FSC-certified forest-based fiber cartons by that year. Meeting this goal would help ensure that 75 percent of all of the companies packaging is recoverable, recycled, reusable, recyclable, or refillable.

Other Notable Paper-Based Packaging Advances

While the first recyclable paper bottle is certainly an advancement, it is not the only notable goal for the Pulpex Partner Consortium. The company is also working with both PepsiCo and Unilever. The latter is about to launch a paper-based laundry detergent.

Meanwhile, Paboco is competing with Pulpex with its paper bottles. However, these still include a recycled PEF or PET barrier film that consumers have to remove before the bottle can go into the recycling stream. The company is working with Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble to test its products.

What It Means for Product Packaging

These advancements show that the push toward sustainable packaging is not going anywhere. Companies should expect to see more and more sustainable options in the coming years — as well as a higher consumer demand for them.


Estee Lauder is working on launching the cosmetic industry’s first recyclable paper bottle. This is just one of many steps toward sustainable packaging in the product packaging industry. It shows the emphasis that the industry is placing on eco-friendliness.

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