After a year of uncertainty, with recovery from the pandemic beckoning, the Albéa group has charted its strategic path for the future. With seven of the group’s 31 plants located in North America, an important step on that path is an increased focus on the economic upswing projected for that continent.
The group’s business in America accounts for 20 percent of the overall workforce. While the main activity is tube production, which is concentrated at five of the plants, the group also manufactures beauty packaging in Mexico, while the facility in Canada focuses on the development and supply of turnkey solutions for cosmetics, beauty, toiletries, and white label accessories..
Sustainability remains a key theme at every plant. Starting in 2020, the group has invested some $40 million (€33 million) in upgrading the facilities to enhance their competitiveness, quality and sustainability performance. This not only led to a reduction in energy consumption of 30 percent, the group also initiated the production of tubes based on PCR plastic, and installed equipment for the production of its recycle-ready Greenleaf laminated tubes.
In addition, the group has developed a paper tube, used by La Roche-Posay for its sun products, which is made partly of FSC-certified cardboard and reduces the amount of plastic used by 45 percent. Albéa has also partnered with The Estée Lauder Companies to co-create a high-performance tube made of polypropylene and polyethylene derived from complex mixtures of recycled plastic waste developed by Sabic.
Investments at its cosmetics packaging manufacturing plant in Matamoros, Mexico, allowed Albéa to broaden its packaging offering from mascara, gloss and lipsticks to pressed powders, skincare and haircare, as well as perfume caps. Here, the group last year doubled the metallization capacity in 2020, further facilitated the use of post-consumer recycled or bio-based resins and reduced energy consumption by 20 percent.
Near Toronto, Albéa’s Orchard plant saw the number of projects targeted at ecodesigned packaging and formulas increase strongly over the past year.
“Over the past six months, 85 percent of our projects were sustainable products,” said Jennifer Raphaël, president of Orchard Custom Beauty. The aim, she added, is to reach 95 percent this year.