Health and beauty products are meant to be aesthetically pleasing.
It's a category in which packaging is as important as ingredients when it comes to standing out in a galaxy of cute little containers. It's also an industry with a built-in advantage, since looking younger, smelling nicer or simply not having bad breath tends to sell itself. Mix in the omnipresence of its advertising, and you have one of the more reliable sectors for growth.
But all of that packaging and all of that growth makes for a pretty big pile of consumer waste.
Every year, 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging is produced, and mostly for one-time use. Empty containers are often too small for recycling, and mixed-material items end up going straight to a landfill. Meanwhile, many of the beauty products purchased often sit unused, gathering dust and eventually ending up as trash – replaced with fresh items from the store.