The Importance of Packaging

This page covers the below sections:

  1. Why do we use Cosmetic Packaging
  2. Legislation
  3. Regulations

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Why do we use Cosmetic Packaging?

Packaging is an important part of cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery products from the perspective of considering its manufacture, transport and distribution, its retail presence on shelf and finally during use by the consumer.

Cosmetic packaging is designed to provide protection against external factors; secure the product’s chemical and physical stability over the period of use; provide a proper and safe way to apply products; provide all necessary product information for the consumer, including regulatory requirements and prevent microbiological contamination of the product (however, it is important that the formulation is also adequately preserved); packaging also allows safe storage and transport; makes the product attractive; and some packaging may also require specific security features, such as being pilfer-resistant or tamper-evident. 

Cosmetics packaging is unusual in that it must also be durable as most products are in use for several weeks or months or, sometimes, years.  Packaging is also integral in enhancing the performance of the product.


Across the EU the manufacture and supply of cosmetic products is governed by the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation (EC No. 1223/2009) and its amendments.  Annex I of the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation describes the information that needs to be considered in the content of the Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR), which also covers the packaging and its contribution to the product.

Due consideration should also be given to the following legislations:

  • EC No. 1272/2008 (CLP)
  • EC No. 1907/2006 (REACH)
  • EC No. 10/2011 (Regulation on plastic materials and articles)
  • EC No. 94/62/ (Directive on packaging and packaging waste)
  • EC No. 2011/95 (Directive on general product safety)
  • EC No. 75/324 (Directive on aerosol dispensers) 


UK - The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007

The UK Packaging Waste Regulations implement part of the European Packaging Waste Directive.  They were introduced in 1997 as the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 and have since been amended by SI (Statutory Instrument) 1999 No 1361 and SI 1999 No 3447.

UK - The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015

BS EN 13427-13432 Packaging. Requirements for the use of European Standards in the field of packaging and packaging waste. The five mandated standards (BS EN 13428, BS EN 13429, BS EN 13430, BS EN 13431, and BS EN 13432) should be used to show compliance with the Directive’s essential requirements.  This standard specifies requirements and a procedure by which a person or organization responsible for placing packaging or packed product on the market (the supplier) may combine the application of the five packaging standards.