Online Exclusives

Green Fragrance Packaging

February 29, 2008

Bond No. 9 kicks of eco-conscious effort to recycle glass fragrance packaging.

The Greening of Fragrance Packaging

Bond No. 9 kicks of eco-conscious effort to recycle glass fragrance packaging.

By Joanna Cosgrove
Online Editor

For Laurice Rahmé, the founder and president of the fashionable Bond No. 9 fragrance company, Earth Day isn’t a singular event. She may be best known for her beautifully crafted collection of artisanal neighborhood scents, but Ms. Rahmé is also a voracious environmental advocate who says no to plastic bags, lights her home using compact florescent bulbs and above all, recycles.

A firm believer in the three R’s - reducing, reusing and recycling - Ms. Rahmé was inspired by Mayor Bloomberg’s recent call for New Yorkers to cut down on their use of plastic water bottles and considered how this a similar effort could positively impact the glass bottle fragrance industry which is marked by millions of discarded perfume bottles that usually make their way to landfills because they are comprised up of many materials other than glass. Ms. Rahmé created a unique recycling program unlike anything the fragrance industry has ever seen. In the spirit of Earth Day and for the good of the environment she hopes other fragrance houses might take note and seriously consider a similar recycling program.

The Bond fragrance house is committed to recycling in New York City. Here's a look at the Union Square fragrance.
“As I become more aware of the issues facing our environment, I feel compelled on a personal and business level to participate in the green movement – and assume a leadership role. When I heard what Mayor Bloomberg is doing for the City with recycling, I knew that I could help, too,” said Ms. Rahme. “The recycling endeavor is so important to the company because, as a small company, it allows us the opportunity to really make a difference. It is our program and we handle all aspects of the recycling process. We are the first, an only, company in the beauty industry to recycle perfume bottles.”

As part of the ongoing program, bottles – both Bond No. 9 and competitor’s bottles - can be returned to Bond No. 9 counters at Saks Fifth Avenue. Once the bottle is returned at counter-level, it is sent to Mt. Vernon, NY-based Refurbco Inc., which handles the separation of the bottle parts.

For Bond No. 9 bottles, the process begins with the removal of all metal and labels from the glass. The batch codes are also removed. The inside of the glass is then sanitized with isopropyl alcohol and hung upside down to air dry. Then all the bottles are labeled with a disclaimer that says the glass bottle has been sanitized and deemed acceptable for reuse.            

Then the metal, plastic componentry and labels are sorted and sent to appropriate recycling facilities. “At these facilities, the glass, metal or plastic is pulverized…then the ground up piles are compacted and burned for reuse or to create energy,” noted Ms. Rahmé. “For example, clear glass can be used to create more glass products or glass by-products like glaspalt - asphalt with recycled glass pieces. The ground up plastics can be used to make track surfaces or alternative flooring. Metals can by pulverized and burned down to create more metal products or they can be burned and used to create energy.”

The recycling process for bottles other than Bond No. 9 is similar, beginning with the disassembly and sorting of the parts and componentry. Clear, colored and frosted glass and metals are sorted into piles. Plastics are sorted based on their density. Refurbco then sends the separated piles to the appropriate recycling facility. “Any components that can’t be placed into the categories of glass, metal or plastic will be augured and incinerated at a waste energy facility,” said Ms. Rahmé. “Nothing is ever land filled.”

As an eco-friendly thank-you, Bond No. 9 rewards those who take advantage of its recycling service with a refillable pocket spray free with any purchase.   

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