A Quick Look at Paper Cosmetic Packaging

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Paper was once considered a safe substitute for plastic. People were encouraged to use paper more and reduce the use of
plastic as much as possible. The reason behind this was the large-scale environmental degradation brought about by plastic.
Being so durable, plastic was thought to take thousands of years to decompose, thereby contributing to environmental
pollution. When the situation started going from bad to worse, people decided to take some concrete steps to contain the
menace of plastics, and the use of paper seemed to be the right decision at that point. People stopped using plastic bags and
started using paper bags in their place.

The demand to curb the use of plastics also brought about a green revolution in the cosmetic industry. People demanded the
use of natural materials for packaging cosmetic products, and paper was the unanimous choice as it is a biodegradable
material. However, contrary to popular belief, the decision to use paper in the place of plastic was not a good environmental

solution. Instead of making the planet greener, better and healthier, it paved the way for further environmental

How the Use of Paper Contributed to Environmental Degradation

Though paper is a natural material, the production and use of paper can affect the environment adversely. Let us see how.

Deforestation - Deforestation is one of the major causes of paper consumption since the raw material used for making
paper is mainly trees. As the demand for paper increased, more trees were cut down to meet the requirements for wood pulp. It
is estimated that around 12-24 trees are required to manufacture one ton of paper. This naturally resulted in deforestation
and the loss of wildlife habitats and ecosystems. Moreover, as forests disappeared, the concept of managed forests for
growing coniferous softwoods was introduced. However, this singular focus on one tree species adversely affected the
biodiversity of the whole forest.

Rise in Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change - Trees are essential for sustaining life on earth as they uses carbon

dioxide for their growth. However, when trees are cut down, the level of greenhouse gases (GHGs) increases in the atmosphere.
Though a balanced amount of greenhouse gases, comprised of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons
(typically chlorofluorocarbons and hydro fluorocarbons) is essential, excessive amounts can prove fatal. The rise in GHGs
paved the way for climate changes, which in turn caused further degradation of the forests by causing droughts and forest

How to Minimize Wood-Pulp Paper Waste

Buying Recycled Paper Products - Though the recycling of paper itself does not save trees, it can go a long way toward
reducing air pollution and saving water and energy. Recycling paper requires half the amount of water and energy required to
make paper because most of the energy and water in papermaking is required during the manufacturing of wood pulp. Moreover,
it causes less water and air pollution compared to virgin paper. Consumers can play a greater role in reducing paper
pollution by insisting on cosmetic products where the cartons used for holding the lotion pumps or containers are made of recycled paper.

Discouraging Excessive Packaging - Decorating and accessorizing cosmetic products is the bane of the cosmetic
industry. Manufacturers dress up their products using cloth, cardboard, ribbons, sequins and so on that serve no real
purpose. It can only contribute to creating tons of waste that in most cases ends up in landfill sites.

Encouraging Treeless Paper - When buying products, look for packaging that has been made from treeless paper.
Paperfoam is a treeless paper that is biodegradable as well as recyclable. Use of tree free papers such as coffee paper,
banana paper and lemon paper must also be encouraged.

It is high time that cosmetics manufacturers and cosmetic packaging
manufacturers realize the damaging effects of paper on the environment and take some steps to prevent it.

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