Reusable & Refillable: You Can Now Find Loop’s Circular Packaging At E-Tailer Ulta Beauty For Burt’s Bees, Dermalogica & More

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Beauty retail giant Ulta Beauty joined forces with circular packaging service startup Loop to offer customers all its cosmetic products in reusable and refillable packaging that includes the use of aluminum and glass bottles.

As part of its holistic initiative ‘Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty’, the U.S.-based company pledged to achieve 50% recycled, bio-sourced materials or refillable containers across all its offerings by 2025.  

To execute this, Ulta beauty partnered with Loop and plans to slash more than 120 billion packaging units produced globally every year annually within the cosmetics industry.

The new loopbyulta website offers customers around 30 products in eco-packaging such as body butter and deodorant in glass jars, Dermalogica cleansing gel in an aluminum bottle, a Burt’s Bees gel cleanser in a glass bottle, Noice, an organic toothpaste that also comes in a glass container with a pump that helps reduce wastage of the toothpaste itself. Other brands include Plaine Products, Mad Hippie, Oneka Elements, and L’ANZA, with many more to come.

When consumers purchase the product online, they also pay for a refundable deposit for the packaging. Then, once the container is empty, you can put them in a reusable shipping tote bag and schedule a free pickup. Once the empties are picked up, they are sent to Loop, where they are cleaned and sterilized, making them ready for use again.

President of Ulta Beauty, Dave Kimbell said that as the nation’s leading beauty retailer, we have to continuously improve and bring innovative solutions forward for the industry. “We know the packaging in beauty is a challenge. But we think we could be part of the solution. We’re going to really leverage the relationships and the influence that we have in the industry to help drive change as [Loop is] building their packaging and their supply chains.”

ULta Beauty X Loop tote bag. Source: Loop

We know the packaging in beauty is a challenge. But we think we could be part of the solution. We’re going to really leverage the relationships and the influence that we have in the industry to help drive change as [Loop is] building their packaging and their supply chains

Dave Kimbell, President of Ulta Beauty

The Conscious Beauty initiative also aims to categorize brands under five pillars namely: clean ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, and those that are having a positive impact.

Ulta also aims to design a ‘Made Without list’ that will highlight products that are free of parabens, phthalates and 25 other chemical categories.

Back in 2018, the beauty giant ran an advertising campaign that focussed on the importance of diversity in beauty by including models from different races, genders, and even those with disabilities. Ulta has also extended its support to added black-owned brands such as EleVen by Venus Williams, Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross, and Juvia’s Place.

Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of Terracycle, the parent company of Loop said that the beauty industry is waking up to this issue more quickly than the others despite the fact that it had been sleeping for too long. With respect to adding more brands to the new site, Szaky said: “Redeveloping packaging from scratch, as you can imagine, is a phenomenal amount of work. We are launching with a good number of brands out of the gate, but what’s really exciting is that there’s just a huge pipeline of development occurring, which is going to become available sometime after the launch.”

In the cosmetics space, Loop has also teamed up with Pantene, REN and The Body Shop, however, Ulta is the first partnership focused on makeup. 

Apart from this collaboration, Loop has teamed up with Kroger and Walgreens and is also looking to offer in-store drop-off locations by mid 2021, something it hopes to achieve with Ulta as well in the coming future.

Since Loop launched in 2019 by the Franco/US-based waste management company Terracycle, more and more consumer brands and retailers have joined in on the zero-waste solution.

For instance, Loop and retail giant Carrefour joined hands to offer reusable and returnable packaging to consumers by launching the scheme in two Paris Carrefour shops in Bizot and Beaupassage, with refillable packaging options for everyday products including glass yogurt pots and dishwasher tablets that are available in aluminum containers across brands such as Nivea, Coca-Cola, Danone, Evian, Nutella, Ricoré, Maison Verte, etc.

In the second half of last year, Mcdonald’s with Loop decided to offer McDonald’s customers the choice to choose a durable Loop-created cup for a small deposit and once the cup is returned, the deposit is refunded and the cup is professionally cleaned and sanitized for reuse.

Fast food rival Burger King also partnered with the circular packaging startup late last year, trialing a reusable packaging scheme for popular menu items like its Whopper and soft drinks. 

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if 20% of existing plastic packaging is converted into reusable alternatives, this will be worth an estimated US$10 billion.

Customers across the U.S can now purchase Ulta Beauty’s products here.


Lead image courtesy of Loop.

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