What type of plastic is used for cosmetic tubes?

Collapsible squeeze tubes for creams, gels, and lotions are usually made from a type of plastic called polypropylene, or PP. That’s because of the strength of the material, and for its chemical resistance that ensures it doesn’t react with the product inside the tube.

Polypropylene is also a responsible choice for brands who want to demonstrate a commitment towards eco friendly beauty. PP requires significantly less resin to create a cosmetics tube as would be needed if using another type of plastic, and can be widely recycled. PP is commonly transformed into yarn to make carpets and shopping bags.

PP is also used to make lip balm, lipstick, lip gloss, and mascara tubes. However, acrylic is also used for some applications. The benefit of acrylic is that it is lighter and more durable than glass, and is less likely to smash if dropped, which prevents particles from landing on bathroom and bedroom floors to improve safety. Acrylic is also highly transparent, so it’s easy for customers to view the product inside the container.


The Rise of Non-Plastic Tubes

However, not all cosmetics tubes today are made from plastic. Collapsible tubes can also be made from aluminum, which offers a visually appealing appearance with a subtle metallic sheen. Metal tubes are becoming increasingly popular as brands minimize use of chemical preservatives, with the opaque design helping to protect the product from ultraviolet rays which could cause the product to deteriorate quickly.

Lip balm tubes are also starting to be created using bamboo casings, or from paper. At APG Packaging, we offer a range of sustainable packaging options that help our brands to continue delivering high quality cosmetics tubes while cutting down on the use of non-recyclable plastics, and utilizing the many benefits of natural packaging.