RPC Cresstale has successfully completed the first trial production of a 100% biodegradable lipstick. The development – which follows the moulding of a compact using the same polymer – represents a significant breakthrough in cosmetics packaging.
The pack was produced using PHA, a polymer produced from organic sugars and oils that breaks down in soil, composting, waste treatment processes, river water and marine environments. The only products generated during decomposition are carbon dioxide and water; since these are the materials required used to make the material, the life cycle is effectively a closed loop.
PHA, while behaving essentially like fossil fuel based polymers when moulded, has a smaller manufacturing ‘window.’ The resulting mouldings have, to date, proved to be far more heat stable than the more familiar biodegradable PLA polymer, proving PHA’s suitability to the cosmetics packaging market.
The lipstick uses the RPC patented “Revolve” mechanism, which boasts a unique collapsible tower. This allows the lipstick, including the decorative cover and base, to be made in only four moulded parts and from one single material, instead of the conventional five components requiring a number of different materials.
Work began on the lipstick following the successful moulding of a complete screw-top cosmetic powder compact.
“A high degree of moulding expertise was needed to overcome the previously unknown problems presented when moulding this innovative new material,” comments John Birkett, Project Manager at RPC Cresstale. “The successful application of PHA indicates that fully biodegradable cosmetics packaging can be a reality.”
Source: Packaging and Converting Essentials May 26, 2006.