Bio Plastic : Estée Lauder joins Sustainability Challenge

© Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder announced recently its role as the exclusive partner of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics. This marks the first time a beauty brand has partnered on a research and development opportunity for innovators to propose concepts leveraging the ISS National Lab to advance sustainability research for plastics alternatives. As part of the brand’s commitment to support research that can help drive sustainable packaging innovation, Estée Lauder will provide funding for the awarded proposals.

The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics will unite innovators on an important mission to address plastic waste and enable scientific or technological advancements that help improve Earth’s environment. Such research has the potential to unmask new insights into cost-effective and innovative avenues for environmentally responsible biopolymers or plastics alternatives.

The objective of the Sustainability Challenge is to use the unique ISS environment to develop, test, or mature products and processes that address at least one of the following goals:

Reduce plastic waste introduction into the environment

Seek alternative feedstocks and pathways for polymer production beyond petrochemicals

Reduce virgin plastic manufacturing

As the exclusive partner of the ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge and founding member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Estée Lauder reinforces its commitment to long-term science research for more sustainable practices. In addition to ingredient transparency, responsible sourcing, and energy and emissions efforts, sustainable packaging is a key part of Estée Lauder’s sustainability strategy. The brand has implemented robust measures to drive the reduction of virgin and non-recyclable plastic and has committed by 2025 that 75-100% of Estée Lauder packaging will be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable.

The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge is an open solicitation for U.S.-based entities to propose projects that leverage the orbiting research platform for applied research and technology development. Applicants must first submit a concept form to ideally address a whole-of-life design approach to production of virgin polymers through sustainable feedstocks or the biodegrading or upcycling of end-of-life of polymers. A subset of applicants with the most promising concepts will then be invited to submit a pre-recorded “pitch” video describing their concept in more detail.

The projects will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges, and on March 19, 2022, a Sustainability Challenge event will be held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where the finalists’ recorded presentations will be showcased and live streamed to a global audience.