Avon Products Inc.
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Skin so SoftAvon uses a variety of plastic, glass, paper and cardboard packaging materials in its products. As a direct-selling company, Avon is in a fortunate position in that it requires less packaging than other companies that sell through traditional retail outlets. Nonetheless, the company aims to continually reduce the environmental impact of its packaging through strategic focus on its new product development process and on-going business operation. Critical to any sustainable success story is the assurance of a high quality product. All sustainable initiatives are designed to ensure that the package is safe, suitable for consumer use, and meets all legal guidelines.

Avon addresses the environmental impact of packaging through two key areas: the amount of packaging, and the materials and processes required to produce the packaging. The company continuously evaluates opportunities to lightweight and/or reduce the size of product packaging, reduce or eliminate secondary packaging (the cartons) and implement the use of alternative materials or measures, including the initiatives below:

  • Carton elimination: Many products and product categories are offered without outer cartons, including lipsticks, body lotions, bath products, personal care products, such as deodorants, haircare and other categories.
  • Carton production: Avon's North American carton suppliers have committed to using renewable energy sources to produce product cartons for Avon products. In 2008, approximately 48 percent of the cartons the company purchased depended on renewable energy.
  • Packaging materials: Avon is continuously seeking the best options for packaging, and as one example, it has made a firm commitment to discontinue the use of PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) in beauty packaging across all markets by 2015.
  • Refillable packaging: The mark™ brand has integrated refillable packaging solutions into five of their cosmetic compact products. Every time a consumer refills these packages, an average of 0.15 pounds of materials is saved. Avon is exploring other opportunities for refillable packageing.
  • Lightweighting: Many plastic packaging and caps are "lightweighted" to reduce the overall amount of materials they contain while still providing the necessary strength. One example is the Skin-So-Soft cap weight, which was reduced by three grams, saving almost 250,000 pounds of material each year worldwide.
  • Scalability: Avon's new distribution facility in Zanesville, Ohio offers an expanded range of sizes of package options to allow for proper sizing of the shipper depending on the mix of products ordered.

Product Labeling

An important part of packaging for consumers is the product labeling. Consumers trust Avon's products to be safe and of high quality, and Avon aims to maintain that trust through accurate labeling in compliance with regulatory guidelines. To ensure that consumers know what ingredients are used in products, as well as how to safely use and dispose of them, Avon provides information for 100 percent of the beauty products both online at avon.com and directly on the packages.

Moving forward

Avon's package engineering team will continue to identify areas for further reductions in package material use, will work toward the incorporation of new, more environmentally sensitive materials and processes. The company also continues to explore additional light-weighting possibilities through conversion of plastic bottles from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin to polyethylene (PET) resin for the right brands.

Focus on
the packaging
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