Plastic packaging to get the chop at Garnier maker L'Oreal

PARIS (Reuters) - L'Oreal OREP.PA aims to cut out non-recycled plastic packaging by 2030 and bring in greener products like solid shampoo bars under its flagship Garnier brand as it steps up an environmental push, its chief executive said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oreal, attends the Euronext stock exchange's annual conference in Paris, France, January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

L’Oreal, which is also behind brands such as Maybelline and Lancome, added it would further cut back on emissions at offices and factories and improve the way it sources ingredients for cosmetics as part of new sustainability targets.

The group plans to shake up the packaging of beauty products in particular, with all plastic casings either made from recycled plastic or natural derivatives in 10 years, compared to 15% by end-2020, CEO Jean-Paul Agon said.

“It’s time to move, time to accelerate,” Agon told Reuters in an interview, adding that the coronavirus crisis had only added to reasons to move ahead, and had likely intensified consumers’ growing demand for more natural products.

Cosmetics firms have explored ways to reduce the waste generated by everything from lipstick tubes to shampoo bottles, by changing their composition or trying out refillable packaging for instance.

Agon said that consumers were only slowing taking up such habits, but added L’Oreal was investing in campaigns and working with suppliers on raw materials and recycling techniques.

L’Oreal now aims to use only renewable energy at all of its facilities by 2025 and operate all of them in a carbon neutral manner.

Like many retailers, the group increasingly relies on online sales to shift its products, particularly in major markets like China - an additional headache on the environmental front as firms compete to deliver quickly, all over the world.

“E-commerce is a challenge to sustainability... it will not go away, the only way is to address it,” Agon said, citing a push towards using boxes made from recycled cardboard in China.

The group is also moving more towards electric vehicles for deliveries, L’Oreal’s corporate responsibility chief Alexandra Palt said.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Mark Heinrich