SEOUL -- Using stone cells extracted from the skin and the core of Asian pears, Kolmar Korea, a beauty and cosmetics product maker, will develop eco-friendly material that would replace microplastics used in skincare products and toothpaste.
Stone cells or sclereids are plant cells with thickened, lignified cellular walls that are normally found in fruits including Asian pears, apples, and guavas. Such hardened cells provide a crunchy, gritty texture.
Microplastics are used in various products like cosmetics and toothpaste as abrasive ingredients that provide a smooth finishing touch. However, microscopic plastic particles cause serious damage to rivers and oceans as well as wildlife.
Kolmar Korea said in a statement on August 19 that the company partnered with Roots Lab, a domestic eco-friendly material maker, to jointly develop cosmetics, toothpaste, and functional foods using stone cells. Roots Lab has established a manufacturing system for the extraction and refinement of stone cells. The beauty product company will commercialize eco-friendly products in 2021.
South Korea's beauty product market sized at about 10.5 trillion won ($8.9 billion) is currently undergoing a major shift from the conventional manufacturing market that uses plastics as the main packaging material to a market that is more eco-friendly by adopting biodegradable packages and products that contain zero microplastics.
In November 2020, Kolmar Korea developed an environmentally friendly paper package material for cosmetics products. The paper pack designed to contain lotions and balms has a waterproof layer coated paper that can withstand the weight of up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
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