Sustainability is a massive movement in the packaging industry right now. Because it is such a broad area with many different ways in which to embrace the subject, Louvrette has structured it into four segments in order to offer clear solutions to its customers: reDUCE, reUSE, rePLACE and reCYCLE.
Louvrette has classified its products according to these segments in order to make it easier for brands to understand the different options available and the ways in which different products can also be incorporated into more than one segment. The clear categories benefit the company to work systematically, as well as offering customers an approach that is simple to comprehend.
What are the principal differences between each of Louvrette's sustainability segments?
ReDUCE: The reduce option was introduced a few years ago by cutting down on the amount of material in a product. The original concept was for a thick wall jar that was more ecological to produce. Now available on the market, to the consumer there is no notable difference in the finished product as reduce jars have the same size impression as a 'regular' product, however, the amount of material required for production is significantly reduced by 40-50%.
There are also further benefits to the reduce option. Jar production requires less energy, more jars can be produced per hour and there is less wastage because there is no shrinkage. Louvrette now offers both 50ml conical and straight jars with this option. The finished jars look just as prestigious as any other with their thick wall, but are more ecologically-friendly options. Louvrette's patented technology for this process is enabling the company more options to be introduced on to the market.
RePLACE: Whilst working on the reduced material jar concept we also looked at alternative materials as we had foreseen that the market was transitioning. Louvrette has always worked at the cutting edge of design and technology and the company is recognized for this. Recyclable materials, recycled materials and alternative materials that are 100% biodegradable were all thoroughly explored.
Following methodological research of the options available, Louvrette now partners with Sulapac and Fiberform for cellulose-base material. The injection of wood or paper, both of which are 100% biodegradable, is a new concept for Louvrette, therefore it has been essential to invest in the appropriate research, testing and training to ensure that cosmetic formulations remain safe and that the packaging is in optimal condition. New, alternative materials have not been homologated, so it is imperative to do this properly in a structured and responsible way.
ReCYCLE: Louvrette offers its customers the option to incorporate PCR from ocean waste plastics, pcr PET and also recyclable PET. Injection molding uses PETG as it makes it easier to inject, but our expertise in PET is now so good that we are introducing a completely recyclable injected bottle PET. It is an immense advantage as PETG can not be fully recycled due to its composition.
Mono-material packaging that can be recycled is also providing challenges to increase the proposals available, but Louvrette invests a lot in research and new technology, so further packs that fulfil this condition will be introduced into the company's offering.
ReUSE: Refillable jars have been available to Louvrette's customers since the 1980's and some 80% of the company's jar production is refillable today. This concept is now being improved upon to modernize the options available and Louvrette will be introducing more intuitive and hygienic concepts.
Louvrette's airless systems will be refillable at the end of this year — a new patented system will be on the market for luxurious, refillable packaging.
How does Louvrette incorporate sustainability into production and daily processes?
Although the company is not certified, many of Louvrette's processes already conform to ISO 14001 requirements. We sort and recycle our scrap material. We perform controlled energy management and we invest in new technologies and techniques which offer more effective results.
For example, we have incorporated a new ventilation system for the new injection department. The state-of-the-art system is highly efficient and requires less energy even though it can complete more work.
The company also utilizes the heat produced by the injection machinery to warm all of the office areas, and takes advantage of the cool local temperatures outside to cool the machinery and production areas.
Louvrette also operates a system whereby it collects thermoformed trays from many of its larger customers so that they can be reused over and over again. This saves on resources as new trays are not required. In addition, new trays are being produced which utilize recycled and or recyclable material, so that the chain is complete. We are working to increase the number of customers that are involved in this system.
Because of all these efforts, Louvrette applied for an EcoVadis assessment for the first time this year and has just been awarded silver for its CSR efforts.