Our Packaging

We’ve put just as much thought into our packaging as we have our product ranges.
After all, what good is going plastic free if the packaging it’s sent in is covered in plastic?

The boxes we use are either:

  • Eco-friendly – fully recyclable and degradable
  • Made from 75% recycled paper
  • Made from 97% recycled and 3% FSC approved materials and 100% recyclable after use
  • Made from high quality eco-friendly materials
  • Re-used boxes from our suppliers stock, where possible

Our protective packaging are either:

  • 100% recycled paper bubble wrap - also 100% recyclable
  • Packing peanuts which are compostable and also re-used from our suppliers
  • Re-used cardboard & paper packaging from our suppliers

Even the tape we use to seal the boxes is recyclable, biodegradable, made from sustainable material and is plastic free!

​We hope you can find other uses for our packaging before sending it to be recycled


Zao Essence of Nature UK Products

Plastic Usage in Products

Lip glosses, lip polishes, liquid eyeliners, Light Touch Complexion, Mascaras: These products have an outer bamboo case with inner plastic tube that is removed after each product is finished. All the plastic they use is recyclable PET plastic for your reference, unless otherwise stated. Refills are sold in shrink wrap recyclable plastic.

Their pressed powders (eyeshadows, compact finishing powders, blushes, cooked powders, eyebrow powders and eyes primer) are plastic free, as they are based in a tin pan and are encased in our bamboo packaging. Refills are sold as an tin pan only. Please note that they are in the final stages of the process of switching their refill containers to biodegradable cardboard envelopes from our existing system of PET plastic, an anomaly they are very keen to eliminate. However, they are still working on packaging for our Mineral Cooked Powders and Compact Foundations, as these products are domed and they need to find a packaging solution that does not crush them.

Mineral Silk Powders have an inner plastic insert and sieve, so that the product can be carried in a handbag without spilling the contents. The inner part is the refill and has a recyclable plastic lid to hygiene-seal the product on purchase.

Compact foundations come as a tin pan encased in bamboo, so are plastic free. Refills are currently sold in recyclable PET plastic, whilst they look for a more sustainable solution.

Lipsticks and concealers come with an inner plastic tube and mechanism, which comprises the refill. The refill is packaged in recyclable shrink-wrap plastic. 

Pencils currently feature a plastic lid, although they have put forward a case for swapping to metal lids. These are not refillable.

Nail Polishes are sold in a glass bottle with bamboo lid, although it does require a small amount of plastic inside to make the screw mechanism function. These are not refillable.

Their skincare range is sold in recyclable PET plastic and is not refillable due to hygiene regulations (water-based products could be contaminated without a very sophisticated refill system but more than likely they will instead find a biodegradable packaging material that is truly sustainable instead)

Their liquid foundations come in glass bottles and bamboo lids, with an inner plastic pump. Ironically, they got feedback to say consumers wanted a pump but now the plastic issue has been highlighted, there is now a call for the pump to be removed, so it may disappear at some point! Refills use recyclable PP plastic and are free of outer packaging. .

You may wonder why they do not use bioplastic, but ZAO feels this is not the best answer given the lack of recycling facilities globally that can handle bioplastic, and as they are a global brand, this means it is not a truly sustainable solution. Bioplastic needs help to degrade, so is not compostable and so requires recycling facilities to make it sustainable, and can also contaminate existing plastic recycling.

They are currently researching even more sustainable solution and hopefully affordable new packaging innovations, or recycling methods will soon emerge on the back of the anti-plastic movement.