Photo credit: Berry Global

rPET for body care packaging

Berry Global partners with Koa to launch body care bottle and closure made from recycled plastic

2:49 min Bottle development and design
Evansville, Indiana, United States

Berry Global Group has partnered with Koa to launch Body Cleanser & Body Moisturizer bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. As an industry leader in sustainability, Berry Global places a firm focus on creating a positive environmental impact through streamlined operations, continuously engaged partners, and optimized products, a vision shared by Koa.

Produced at Berry’s manufacturing facility in Winchester, VA, the PET bottles are made with 100% PCR and silk-screen decoration, which eliminates the need to account for label materials in the recycling process, aligning with Koa’s commitment to sustainability.

Koa chose Berry as their supplier for this project due to our shared vision for sustainability in packaging. “We were determined to use 100% post-consumer material for our new body care line. Taking recycled odds and ends and turning them into functional, beautiful packaging felt like the natural next step in our journey to become a more responsible brand,” said Koa’s brand co-founder, Hiro Shinn. “There are very few manufacturing partners out there that share our vision for how to engineer sustainable packaging while maintaining structural integrity and good design. Berry is at the top of that list.”

David Long, Commercial Business Director for the bottle manufacturing site, echoed that commitment to sustainability.  “We understand the need, as a plastics manufacturer, to be as responsible as we can when producing packaging,” said Long.  “Anytime we can produce bottles using fully recycled plastic, we know we have found a true partner in our commitment to sustainability.” 

Shinn and his co-founder, Ty McLaren, launched Koa with the mission is to share the rich healing traditions of Hawaii with the world.

“We combine ancient Hawaiian botanicals with cutting-edge cosmetic science to create clean, effective products that work as well in the surf as on the subway,” says Shinn.  “We are a product company, and want to continue to be known as a brand that consistently puts out incredibly high-quality goods for our customers. Beyond that, we take pride in sharing the culture and stories of Hawaii with people who may not otherwise be exposed to them.”

For Shinn, Koa represents a new vision for care. The intention put into the company and products has translated into a cult following by people who share the brand’s vision and values.
“We think the future of beauty brands is less one-size-fits-all and more specialized and intimate, and we're happy to be at the forefront of that,” says Shinn.
Koa doesn’t just focus on the sustainability of their products, but believes in social responsibility as well.  As a 100% AAPI-owned brand, Koa strives to set an example for how minority-led businesses can succeed— and lead— in a traditionally off-limits spaces for minorities.

Shinn knows that it's what's inside the package that matters the most to people, but for consumers that don't know the brand or their reputation for excellent products, packaging is the first impression.  So, Koa uses their packaging as a way to communicate their values and heritage through the language of design.

“Packaging is a big source of waste in the beauty industry. Most brands view packaging as a necessary evil from a sustainability point of view, but we think of it as an opportunity to innovate and lead,” said Shinn.  “With each production run we do, we continue to push the envelope in using materials and processes that reduce carbon emissions and waste.”

Shinn understands that it can be a big step, especially for newer brands looking to make an impact, offering these insights on developing a game plan for developing sustainable packaging.  “Think hard about what your core values are, and let those be your guiding light in finding the right packaging,” says Shinn. “Developing packaging is not easy even with the best partners and it is essential that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve before starting. Otherwise it's easy to get lost.”

As consumers become more educated about how companies operate in the global supply chain and socially, Koa understands that brands will have to be transparent about their operations and values, or customers will vote with their wallets and find somebody else to build a relationship with.

“We see the beauty consumer being increasingly savvy at sniffing out authenticity vs. BS. There has also never been an easier time to build a brand as an industry outsider,” said Shinn.  “We think the confluence of these two trends will result in more 'biodiversity' within the industry. A universe of small brands which speak authentically to particular niches will emerge, while traditional incumbents will lose sway and market share.”

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