Richmond Containers commitment to sustainability, range of recyclable bottles and jars for cosmaceuticals and skincare, PCR and elephant grass options


Richmond put all our effort into maximising the positive effects of packaging on the environment (there's a huge reduction in product wastage through careful packaging), and minimising the negative impacts that some of our products can unfortunately have when handled in the wrong way (yes, we're thinking of all that plastic in the oceans).

Here are some fascinating things that we're working on - you can just scroll to browse, or find some quick links below to jump straight to it:

Sustainable Icon

Icon identifying which bottles and jars have excellent sustainability characteristics. Highlighting Richmond commitment to sustainable packaging
You will notice the Sustainable icon against certain products. These products are a careful selection of items which stand out beyond the norm in sustainability.

We recognise that standard plastic recycling is currently good, and continually improving, but it needs further education and resource invested in it, in order to become truly great. Single-use plastics still end up littering the streets and countryside, through a lack of consumer education on our responsibilities regarding the drains and waterways that lead to our great oceans.

With this in mind, we have carefully selected the following product types to bear our Sustainable mark:


sustainable glass jars for skincare and personal care, from Richmond Containers

Glass is an infinitely recyclable material. It will not lose its qualities with recycling, and is currently widely recognised by consumers as one of the most recyclable materials. Being inert, it also lends itself to a re-usable pack, which is a fantastic way to drive down packaging waste. Read more>


Recyclable aluminium closures for skincare from Richmond Containers UK

Another infinitely recyclable material which loses none of its strength or quality in the recycling process, aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in Earth's crust. Our aluminium closures can make a great finish to a glass pack - a fully recyclable or re-usable, highly sustainable pack.

Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content

PCR Post-Consumer Recyclate/PIR Post-Industrial Recyclate content helps achieve 30% minimum recycled content UK government introduce March 2022

Where our products contain a significant proportion (30% or more) of content that has already been used once and has come through a recycling process, we have noted this in its description. In addition to environmental benefits, with the UK government targeting a tax towards plastic which has less than 30% recycled content, this is becoming the focus of many.

NIR (Near Infra-Red) Detectable

NIR detectable black plastic using NIR detectable masterbatch to ensure recyclability with correct identification in standard recycling streams.

Black plastic which has been manufactured using carbon black masterbatch is usually difficult for current recycling machinery to correctly identify using the NIR scanning method. Where our black plastic products use NIR-detectable masterbatch, this means they are much more easily identifiable in normal recycling streams, using the normal methods.

Environmentally Friendly Alternative Plastics Available

Please note that minimum order quantities will apply for special production of an item in these materials, and these may vary from item to item. Please enquire for details on your specific project.

PCR plastic, recycled plastic from consumer use helps drive the effort and comply with 30% recycled content UK tax March 2022 from Richmond Containers

pcr (post-consumer recyclate) plastic

Post-Consumer Recyclate has been used at least once by consumers, then collected, sorted, cleaned, and ground down before being finally sorted and processed ready for the production of a new product. In the UK, there is a tax applicable from March 2022, on all plastic containing less than 30% recycled content. The airless pack in the above image has a cap, actuator shell and bottle manufactured from 100% PCR plastic (only the workings are made from virgin plastic due to the very fine manufacturing tolerances demanded there).

Unless you are looking at a product which we have already designed to include some PCR content, a custom production in a percentage of PCR material is possible from just 10,000 pcs, please use the contact us form for enquiries.

Bioplastic closure made from sugarcane sugar cane. Brasken I'm Green polymer. Sustainable packaging solution for cosmetic jars from Richmond Containers

sugarcane bioplastic

Another biopolymer, HDPE made from sugarcane helps to lower greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as the sugarcane itself naturally absorbs CO2 as it grows. Some bio-polyethelenes produced in this way can be recycled using existing recycling methods.

Minimum order quantity for bespoke production in this material is 10,000 units, please use the contact us form for enquiries.

PCR plastic reclaimed from the oceans, beaches, or near-ocean waterways from Richmond Containers

ocean, beach, near-ocean and ocean-bound plastic

This is Post-Consumer Recyclate which specifically has been reclaimed from oceans, beaches, nearby waterways, or from mismanaged waste within 50km of the coastline. Some major global brands have chosen to use these categories for part of their range, which is successfully highlighting the issue on a worldwide scale. The World Economic Forum of 2019 noted that 80-90% of ocean plastic originates from developing countries, so it is important to address the issue with awareness and knowledge, and source the plastic from areas where it is going to make the biggest difference. Please note that due to the reclaimation process, sorting and cleaning, this may be around 15 times more expensive than standard PCR plastic - but for some, that's a small price to pay to play a part in cleaning up the oceans and helping to protect their fragile ecosystems.

Ocean-bound plastic (see the research by Jenna R Jambeck) is available from 10,000 pcs and upwards, please use the contact us form for enquiries.

Bioplastic closure made from elephant grass. Sustainable packaging solution for cosmetic jars from Richmond Containers

elephant grass biopolymer

Elephant grass is a fast-growing crop which is used to form a bioplastic. This bioplastic is recyclable, and also has good scratch resistance, as well as an attractive natural finish (an uncoloured version is shown in the closure above). A hectare of elephant grass can absorb four times more greenhouse gases than a hectare of tree forest, and also rejuvenates the soil in which it is grown, making it a highly sustainable solution.

Recycling Codes

PET recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
01 - PET
PET is widely recycled in the UK through household recycling streams.
HDPE recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
02 - HDPE
HDPE is another material which is widely recycled through standard UK household recycling streams.
PVC recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
03 - PVC
Recycling PVC is a complex chemical process, and it is not currently recycled by UK houshold recycling schemes.
LDPE recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
04 - LDPE
LDPE can be recycled, but not many councils take this in the UK, for the types of products you will find on our website.
Polypropylene (PP) recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
05 - PP
Polypropylene (PP) can be easily recycled, and is widely taken in household recycling, across many (but not quite all) parts of the UK.
Polystyrene (PS) recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
06 - PS
We are used to seeing Polystyrene (PS) in the form of expanded polystyrene takeaway boxes. It is also a hard material used for some cosmetic spatulas, but is not commonly recycled.
Mixed recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
07 - Mixed/Other
This category covers a mix of plastics, some of which are recyclable, and some of which are not. On this website, it is sometimes used for products containing mixed materials, as results can vary and these are best kept out of the recycling streams.
Steel recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
40 - Steel
Steel is a commonly recyclable metal, although not found in many of our products.
Aluminium recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
41 - Aluminium
Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material, and retains all of its qualities even after recycling. Many of our closures are made from this highly sustainable material.
Colourless glass recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
70 - Colourless Glass
Clear glass is a commonly recycled and sustainable choice, taken in many areas of the UK as household recycling.
Green glass recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
71 - Green Glass
As green is such a common glass colour, it also has its own recycling code. Green glass products are commonly recycled, a sustainable option.
Brown glass recycling code icon Richmond Containers Sustainability
72 - Brown Glass
Brown (often called amber) glass is recyclable, with many UK councils offering a kerbside collection. Glass is a sustainable choice and is widely recognised as recyclable, by consumers.

richmond environmental commitments

Below are some of the additional commitments Richmond have, not only to uphold our responsibility to our global environment, but also to improve at the cutting edge of research into ways to positively impact the environment.

Richmond ISO 14001 accreditation benefits, environmental management positive steps to a sustainable global environment


Richmond hold the internationally-recognised ISO14001 accrediation. This just shows the commitment that we already have, that our whole team is committed to protecting our environment. The accreditation is given to companies who have a proper system in place to manage their environmental impact, a system which ensures the engagement of the whole team in environmental management. Download our certificate here.

Richmond donations to Plastic Oceans UK / Ocean Generation

donations to plastic oceans uk / ocean generation

Richmond is committed to helping the reduction of plastic pollution and to strengthen our efforts, we have been working with Ocean Generation to help them reach their aims. To encourage our customers to engage with the challenge of pollution in the oceans, we have donated to Plastic Oceans UK charity (now Ocean Generation) using fun methods, such as involving customers in a survey where they could choose to request that we add to our donation.

Richmond sustainable low energy LED lighting commitment to reduction of energy consumption

led lighting

Richmond is committed to ensuring reduced energy consumption by using LED lighting throughout the facilities. LED lighting is fundamental in reducing use of electricty as, depending on the type and output of the lighting unit, they are up to 80% more efficient.

Richmond Saves Energy Through Using Heat Recovery Unit

heat recovery units

Richmond is committed to reducing energy consumption. We have multiple heat recovery units which reprocess all of the air in our premises. By recapturing warm air, these units can save up to 30% of the energy required for heating.

Richmond's solar panels to provide renewable energy.

renewable electricity sources

Richmond is committed to ensuring that electricity is from renewable sources. Solar panels fitted along the length of head office, provide us with most of our operating power and on the sunniest days we even supply electricity back to the grid. In addition, 75% of our back-up electricty supply comes from renewable sources.

Richmond Reducing Waste Through Cardboard Recycling

packaging and recycling

Richmond is committed to reducing packaging waste by recycling cardboard. All waste cardboard is collected by Highlander Recycling where it is recycled to make new cardboard products. We also use biodegradable poly chips to reduce plastic packaging usage.

Richmond Electric Charging Points

charging points

Richmond is committed to reducing energy usage by providing four electric car charging points. This helps the team here at Richmond to reduce their carbon footprint on the commute to work. In addition, the forklift trucks are electric, provided by 75% renewable sources.