At MIRON Violetglass we embrace all initiatives around improving the use of natural products, reducing waste or transforming the way we use the world’s resources. For the beauty industry it’s inevitable to move towards more sustainable choices throughout the value chain. The concept of Green Chemistry is circular by design and might become the conceptual foundation for the future of pure beauty products, as it focuses on ways to improve the long-term impact on our environment. (See below for original article)
Although the Green Chemistry concept (developed by Paul Anastas and John Warner back in 1998) is not new, but it has received increased attention over the last years within the beauty industry. Estée Lauder Companies, for example, has embedded the green chemistry thinking throughout the product development process about a decade ago. Educating their chemists about green principles and practices, starting up internal processes to use green chemistry and by developing internal goals and objectives to constantly improve on its green sciences. Also, L’Oréal has a keen focus on the implementation of the Green Chemistry. In 2019, their portfolio included nearly 30% of raw materials that were according to the Green Sciences approach and strive to reach 95% by 2030.
This new mindset has to be adopted more broadly though, to create a 100% worldwide circular beauty, shifting away from the traditional processes towards an industry that fixates on a more sustainable approach. An approach that explicitly focuses on minimizing the environmental impacts coming from the production of cosmetics through the reduction of carbon emissions to the prevention of deforestation and water pollution. An important step to realize this is a movement towards green chemistry, an approach that revolves around efficient processes. Initial efforts to achieve long-term environmental goals have already been taken, such as microplastic restrictions, but more of actions are needed to achieve these goals.
Recent innovations are shaping a promising outlook. For example, by avoiding plastics, using glass soap dispensers combined with refill packs and solid shampoo formats are significantly reducing the number of plastic packaging in the industry. But also in other areas, e.g. bio-fermentation enables the creation of new and alternative ingredients, and renewable carbon strategies has led to the creation of highly efficient and effective molecules for beauty formulations.
So, in short, the green chemistry concept applies innovative scientific solutions to solve environmental problems and outlines the early conception of what would make a greener chemical, process, or product. How does MIRON fits in all of this? Well, violet glass outperforms other types of glass because it preserves and revitalizes the quality of products for a longer time it even extends the shelf life without the use of any preservatives in your formulas. By using violet glass, you contribute to eliminating plastics, glass is circular and therefore creates less waste, and you’d need fewer or even the elimination of additives in the product formulation - making it an excellent sustainable choice.
1. Prevent Waste
It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created. A great example of this is to incorporate 100% and infinitely recyclable glass in the lifecycle of a product.
2. Atom Economy
Designing synthetic methods that incorporate as much of the starting materials as possible into the final product.
3. Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis
Designing synthetic methods to use and generate substances with little or no toxicity to both humans and the environment.
4. Design Safer Chemicals and Products
Chemical products should be designed to be fully effective while exhibiting little to no toxicity.
5. Safer Solvent and Excipients
The use chemicals such as solvents and separation agents should be avoided as much as possible. If these chemicals are still needed, choose the safest options.
6. Optimize Energy Efficiency
The use of energy for chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impact and should be minimized. Whenever possible, chemical reactions should proceed at room temperature and pressure.
7. Use Renewable Resources
Starting material should be renewable rather than depleting. The source of renewable feedstock (starting material) is often waste of other processes or agricultural products; in contrast, the source of depletable feedstock is often from fossil fuels or mining operations.
8. Avoid Chemical Derivatives
The use of unnecessary derivatization, such as blocking or protecting groups and any temporary modifications, should be limited or avoided because derivatives require additional reagents and may generate waste.
Reducing waste by using catalytic reactions. Catalysts are effective in small quantities and can perform a single reaction many times, making them superior to stoichiometric agents.
10. Design for Degradation
Design chemical products in a way that they break down into harmless substances at the end of their functioning so that they do not accumulate in the environment.
11. Real-Time Pollution Prevention
Use in-process, real-time monitoring and control during syntheses to minimize or eliminate by-product formation.
12. Safer Chemistry to Prevent Accidents
Design of chemicals and the form of a substance used in a chemical process (e.g., liquid or gas) to minimize the possibility of chemical accidents, including explosions, releases and fires.
EPA US Environmental Agency: Basics of Green Chemistry
Cosmetics Design Europe: Green chemistry is a ‘mindset’ that holds great promise for circular beauty, says expert