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Sustainable Ionomer Copolymers to Play Role in Major Perfume and Cosmetics Packaging Collaboration

Reporting on new ‘sustainable’ plastics, whether it be grades with mechanically or chemically recycled content, or based on biobased feedstock, as well as bioplastics has become increasingly frequent and we expect it only to accelerate. In the packaging arena, in particular, most of the news entails polyolefins, along with PET and PS, and PLA and PHA, while in other market segments, we have reported on recycled and/or biobased engineering resins such as PC and nylons. But the latest news in non-food consumer packaging is more sustainable ionomers.

Dow and LMVH collaborate on sustainable Surlyn ionomers for perfume and cosmetics packaging

Photo Credit: Dow

A collaboration just announced by Dow and LVMH, a global leader in perfume and cosmetics products to accelerate more sustainable packaging are centered around Dow’s Surlyn ionomer resin. Dow ‘inherited’ Surlyn from its now defunct merger with DuPont. The latter created Surlyn, which is a copolymer of ethylene and methacrylic acid used as a coating and packaging material. Surlyn ionomers have long been a go-to option for flexible packaging formats such as sachets, pillow pouches, flow-wrap packages, composite cans and stand-up pouches. They are used in a wide variety of food and non-food packaging, as well as pharma and medical packaging applications due such benefits as:

 ▪  Low sealing temperature

 ▪  Very broad sealing temperature range

 ▪  Excellent hot tack strength

 ▪  Very high clarity and gloss for see-through films

 ▪  Excellent oil/grease resistance

 ▪  Superb thermoformability

 ▪  Outstanding seal through contamination

 ▪  Very good aluminum adhesion

 ▪  Puncture resistance

 ▪  Scratch resistance

The newly announced collaboration would enable both biobased and circular plastics to be integrated into several of the beauty multinational’s product applications without compromising functionality or quality of the packaging. Biobased and circular plastics, which are made from biobased and plastic waste feedstock respectively, will be used to produce sustainable Surlyn ionomers for the manufacture of premium perfume caps and cosmetic cream jars. Within 2023, some of LVMH’s perfume packaging will include both biobased and circular Surlyn grades. The sustainable Surlyn resin portfolio is expected to deliver similar crystalline transparency and freedom of design expected from the rest of Dow’s Surlyn range, at a low carbon footprint.

Biobased feedstocks for the production of biobased Surlyn include raw materials such as used cooking oil. As only waste residues or by-products from an alternative production process will be utilized, these raw feedstock materials will not consume extra land resources nor compete with the food chain.

Meanwhile, hard-to-recycle mixed plastic waste are transformed into circular Surlyn through advanced recycling technologies. The technologies break down waste plastics into their basic chemical elements using heat and pressure, creating raw material that is equivalent to those made from virgin fossil feedstock. This raw material, or circular feedstock, can be used in a wide range of packaging, giving waste that is currently going to landfill or being incinerated a second life.

LVMH’s Perfumes & Cosmetics activities benefit from exceptional dynamism that relies on both the longevity and development of key lines, and on the boldness of new creations.  The success of the Perfumes & Cosmetics division depends on finding the right balance between major historic Houses such as Parfums Christian Dior, Parfums Givenchy and Guerlain, and young brands with strong potential like Benefit Cosmetics, Fresh and Make Up For Ever…

“At LVMH, with our Life 360 program, we made the decision that our packaging will contain zero plastic from virgin fossil resources in a near future. Collaborating with Dow in developing sustainable Surlyn is key as this material is used in some of our iconic perfumes, starting with Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire. It is helping LVMH achieve our sustainability targets without any compromise on quality”, said LVMH Beuaty’s executive president & managing director Claude Martinez.

“Creating a circular economy takes every player in the value chain to commit to ambitious goals and challenge the status quo. Dow looks forward to supporting the sustainability journey of a leading global luxury brand,” said Karen S. Carter, President of Dow’s Packaging & Specialty Plastics.


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