A Coalition of 11 Major Companies Explores the Challenge of Deposit Systems - Circul'R Expert Network

In the face of environmental urgency, strengthened regulatory obligations, and growing consumer expectations, the cosmetics industry is mobilizing to accelerate packaging reuse. Under the impetus of the Circul'R expert network and its partner We Don’t Need Roads, 11 major companies in the field (L'Oréal, CHANEL Parfums Beauté, Pierre Fabre, Laboratoires SVR, Yves Rocher, Clarins, Melvita, La Rosée, Aromazone, Nocibé, and Séphora) are joining forces in a coalition aimed at exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of a deposit system for cosmetic products. Their goal: to launch a pilot project for deposit systems for skincare products in retail outlets by the end of 2024. This initiative reflects the collective industry's desire to reduce single-use packaging, in line with the ambitions of the AGEC law.

The deposit model for reuse proves to be interesting on three levels for cosmetic industry actors:

Environmental: As companies actively seek to reduce their use of single-use packaging while also reducing CO2 emissions and water consumption associated with their activities, deposit systems offer the potential to achieve significant environmental gains, thereby contributing to the overall sustainability of operations.


Regulatory: Both at the European and French levels, there is a clear trend towards increased promotion of reuse. In France, the AGEC law sets the deadline for the cessation of placing single-use plastic packaging on the market by 2040. Intermediate targets are also specified by decree, requiring 7% of packaging to be reused by 2025 and 10% by 2027. At the European level, a regulation on packaging and packaging waste, scheduled for 2025, aims to reduce and prevent the production of such waste. A regulatory framework that encourages the adoption of reuse models, such as deposit systems.
Consumers: The deposit model aligns with the aspirations of the French, who tend to adopt more sustainable consumption practices. According to a recent study, 88% have already adopted reuse practices, and 94% are willing to switch to reusing their shampoo bottles.

In this context, the cosmetics industry is called upon to innovate and collaborate to address environmental challenges, regulatory obligations, and the eco-responsible aspirations of consumers.


To effectively address these challenges, the Circul'R expert network has taken on the challenge of bringing together 9 major beauty brands (L'Oréal, CHANEL Parfums Beauté, Pierre Fabre, Laboratoires SVR, Yves Rocher, Clarins, Melvita, La Rosée, and Aromazone) and 2 retailers (Nocibé and Séphora) within a coalition, with the conviction that building viable circular solutions requires cooperation within the industry.

In the coming months, these companies will benefit from Circul'R's expertise in the circular economy as well as the support of We Don't Need Roads, a consulting firm specializing in strategy and reinvention for sustainable business transformation, under the direction of Arnaud Lancelot (Director of the REINVENTION division at WDNR and former founder of Cozie). Supported by the Citeo reuse fund, the coalition aims to launch a pilot project for deposit systems for skincare products in retail outlets by the end of 2024.

According to Jules Coignard, co-founder of Circul'R, "the deposit model for cosmetics remains largely unexplored in France, if not nonexistent. Our ambition is to develop it, and doing so in a coalition is essential. Indeed, the pooling of flows allows for a substantial reduction in costs, both economically and environmentally. This collective dynamic also facilitates the engagement of cleaners and consumers through a harmonized journey and standards across different brands. Finally, being among the members of the coalition of major industry players strengthens our power of persuasion with public institutions, thus contributing to a positive evolution of the deposit model in France."

According to Arnaud Lancelot, Director of Reinvention at WDNR and former founder of Cozie, "in founding Cozie, I had the opportunity to address all the operational complexities related to setting up a deposit network. This experience will allow us to share valuable insights with coalition participants, particularly on aspects such as product and packaging selection, efficient supply chain management for bottle collection, and the technical expertise required in washing and traceability processes. These are essential elements for the success of implementing an effective deposit system."

Circul'R was born from a conviction: to enable our economy to respect planetary boundaries, we must radically rethink our modes of sourcing, production, distribution, and consumption to align them with a circular dynamic. To do this, collaboration among all links in the value chain is essential.

Circul'R creates the conditions for this collaboration by allowing economic actors (large companies, communities, institutions, etc.) to co-build long-term solutions with their ecosystem (suppliers, distributors, competitors, solution carriers, etc.) through the establishment of action or reflection coalitions.