Axel Barrett Cosmetics Packaging

Unboxing Sulapac

Sulapac published an article regarding some "creative" end-of-life options they suggested for their packaging. I disagreed with some of the options and re-branded the article: Sulapac End-of-Life Nonsense. Here's how they replied ....

Here’s the article: Sulapac End of Life Nonsense.

Sulapac claimed in their article that heir packaging was so cool, you want to keep it after use. I was a bit astonished to read this on a producer’s website. I found it a bit … end-of-life nonsense.

Sulapac Chief Marketing Officer sent me an email to tell me why he disagreed with my “title”. Here’s his argument:

Sulapac materials are designed to replace traditional plastic in a variety of applications. They are suitable for single-use applications such as straws, but also for premium packaging and medium lifetime consumer goods, such as clothing hangers.

The Sulapac Nordic Collection jars, which our blog “Seven ways to use Sulapac containers” refers to, are used by premium cosmetic brands and have a guaranteed stability time of 24 months for oil-based formulas. As an example my wife has used those jars for storing cotton pads and jewelry since I started at Sulapac in 2018 as they look so cool and beautiful! Also my kids are storing their “most valuable” Lego parts in the bigger 200ml containers.

Here’s how I replied:

Imagine Sulapac material / packaging goes mainstream. A customer will have around 180 Sulapac containers in his life (3 packaging / year over a 60 year period). How many used packaging units will he be able to use creatively? 10-15?

Then, he/she passes away and his/her kids inherit these packaging units. They will have to take care of the end-of-life. In the meantime, creative end-of-life applications increase pressure on new virgin material because millions of customers have removed recyclable content from the “loop” by keeping the packaging units at home and using them “creatively”. The creative end-of-life options cannot be considered as re-use as it should have a similar usage.

Imagine if coca-cola says that you can convert empty steel cans into jewellery or that you can build a boat with PET bottles. I can understand that a bloggers says this, but it wouldn’t be “politically” correct if coke said it.

So, the article would have passed if it had been published on a consumer blog, but not on a producer blog.

Sulapac Package

Then I received a DHL package from Sulapac…

 

It was in the middle of the the Corona crisis so I took precautionary measures. I left the package untouched for a couple of weeks, until I decided to have a go at it and unbox the “package” yesterday.

 

 

It was more than just unboxing. It was a true experience….

 

 

I liked the attention to send me a “package”. It was well packaged: super great branding and merchandising. Sulapac knows how to turn packaging into a “sexy” item. Very professional.

 

 

When I started unboxing, a teenager came and asked me …

“Can I have it?”

ME: Well, it’s just packaging!

“Can I have it?”

ME: Yeah, why not!

“What is it?”

ME: Well, the future packaging for expensive beauty creams such as Channel.

A moment of silence. I must have said something that made me feel important for a fraction of a second.

You have to give it to Sulapac. Unboxing a simple box with “packaging material samples” made me look interesting. Well, it’s not just a simple box.

Respect! Sulapac knows how to merchandise their packaging.

 

 

Even their box is sustainable.

 

 

Then I heard …. “These little cups look too much like plastic!”

Well, I guess that says it all. Mission accomplished. They manage to create an alternative to plastic that looks like plastic.

 

 

However, I don’t think this material is recyclable … Let me re-phrase this: I don’t think there are recycling infrastructure in place at this point-in-time to enable industrial scale recycling.

The Sulapac straws didn’t smell nice and din’t feel nice either. I would never put that in my mouth. Unless, it’s one o’clock in the morning and I’m having my fourth gin and tonic. The straws could be used in a dancing but you couldn’t give them to children as they don’t feel as soft as the real plastic straws.

I tested their heat resistance by putting a straw in boiling water and … it resisted. The plastic straw would have melted I guess. Here’s how the straw looked like after 45 seconds in boiling water.

 

 

It’s a great beginning but I’m not convinced with the Sulapac straws.

However, I’m impressed with Sulapac. I think they’re a cool company.

 

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