Increasing the use of post-consumer recycled material (material that at home, in commerce or in industry would be disposed of as waste at the end of its life) is one of Natura’s commitments for the sustainable development of the business. For this reason, 40% of the paper used in Natura Ekos line cartons is made from recycled cardboard.
We also use this material in the cartons used to send products to the Natura Beauty Consultants (40%) and in the Consultants’ brown paper bags (50%).
The recycling dilemma
Our target for 2020 is to achieve 10% post-consumer recycled material in the total Natura packaging mass, a commitment established in our 2050 Sustainability Vision. In this context, post-consumer recycled paper has the potential to contribute to us achieving this target, but at the same time it poses challenges.
For a number of years, we have researched and tested ways of incorporating recycled paper into other product lines besides Natura Ekos. However, we have not yet arrived at a solution that ensures the necessary printing quality and mechanical protection without the need to increase the quantity of material – which would be worse both in terms of environmental impact and cost.
In May 2018, the post-consumer recycled paper used in Natura Ekos packaging came from a cooperative and a paper trimmings and scrap supplier from Brazil. The post-consumer paper used for bags has two different origins, both of which start with trimmings suppliers in Brazil. Thi material is bought by Natura from suppliers, which mix the post-consumer paper with virgin fibres, creating the final paper which will be sold to the print shops.
Post-consumer waste from our plant in Cajamar, a city in Brazil where our headquarter is located, and the material from the trimming suppliers are used in the standard Natura cartons. This paper is bought by our carton manufacturer, who inserts the post-consumer material in the middle layer of the three that make up our cartons.
In total, we incorporate approximately 500 tons of paper leftovers and post-consumer cardboard in our packs and cartons, preventing the inadequate disposal of this material and avoiding the need for the extraction of additional raw materials to manufacture virgin paper.