SEOUL -- South Korea's cosmetics maker Tonymoly joined the ranks of companies to use eco-friendly materials by releasing a vegan skincare product packaged inside a label-free recyclable plastic bottle to increase convenience in disposing of used bottles for recycling and meet the taste of MZers who have high environmental awareness.
Tonymoly released "Wonder Vegan Label Ceramide Mochi Calming Toner," a skin toner product made with plant-based materials, on October 27. The liquid cosmetics product is bottled inside a label-free plastic package that is 100 percent recyclable.
In South Korea, citizens living in urban areas need to sort daily waste into many categories including non-recyclable, plastics, metal, glass and vinyl before putting them out. Plastic waste must be sorted into colored groups and non-colored transparent ones so that they do not need to be sorted once again at a recycling center. A label-free bottle has letters embossed so that they are readable instead of using paper or plastic films to print indications and a brand logo.
The law regulates plastic labels on bottles and colored caps on plastic bottle wastes. They must be removed before being thrown away. Otherwise, waste-collecting companies will not pick up recyclable wastes that are not sorted properly. Violators can be slapped with a fine of up to one million won ($856). According to government data, about 570,000 tons of recyclable wastes are sorted by citizens before disposal every year. Up to 40 percent of collected recyclable wastes are recycled into new products.
Because removing labels and colored caps from used transparent plastic bottles is bothersome, some companies have released label-free bottles. Mineral water companies were the first to pioneer the label-free product market in 2020 when the disposal of household wastes spiked as many people were grounded by a coronavirus pandemic.
In early October, global beverage brand Coca-Cola released its signature drink packaged inside a label-free bottle in South Korea. The company released a series of mineral water products using label-free bottles in 2021, but it was the first time for the world-famous beverage company to release a beverage using a label-free bottle.
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