“There are no miracle materials,” Laurine Friche, Albéa C&F

“There are no miracle materials,” Laurine Friche, Albéa C&F

A chemical engineer, 27-years old Laurine Friche has been working at Albéa Cosmetics & Fragrance’s head office since 2022. The group manufactures rigid cosmetic packaging such as lipstick, mascara, makeup palettes, cream jars, and fragrance caps. Currently involved in two projects — the first one focusing on recycled materials in line with the current and upcoming regulations, the second one focusing on removing ABS from the packaging produced in the group’s plants throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia — has been named has one of the Paris Packaging Week’s Future Leaders. Interview.

What made you choose packaging as a career, and what excites you about the sector?

Laurine Friche – It was pure chance! I started with an internship and was offered a job after I completed it. I have had to adapt quickly as I have worked in three different roles at Albéa in just four years. I feel committed to my current role as I’m in a position that I feel has value for our business and beyond. I’m working at the root of packaging, meaning I can have a direct impact in changing things for the better. I love packaging because it is the first point of contact between the consumer and the work we do in the beauty industry.

What are the packaging challenges that you want to overcome?

Laurine Friche – At Albéa we contribute to circular economy by committing to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 which is a huge challenge. This requires a deep understanding of regulatory compliance and a lot of work around product safety, material transparency and plastic transformation.

My role has a direct impact on this, as I support the company’s plants to switch materials to suitable recyclable alternatives.

Many different factors have to be considered when proposing new materials. Even packaging size and shape play a role, particularly in cosmetics products. For example, most lipsticks are cylindrical, which means they will roll on flat surfaces. This creates challenges when sorting packs for recycling stream.

What is unique in your approach to packaging? How does it play an essential role in your company/the industry?

Laurine Friche – My background in chemical engineering gives me a deeper understanding of the materials we use, and the viable alternatives that are worth exploring.

Thanks to my initial training and further experience, I better understand the use of PET and its transformation challenges. It is indeed a more complex material to use in injection moulding.

What do you see as the future of packaging?

Laurine Friche – We cannot do without packaging. Once we understand it we can work to improve things and find productive solutions. The same applies to plastic.

There are no miracle materials – it’s how we use them that matters. Plastic will still have its place in a responsible packaging industry. It just needs to be adapted to the needs of the circular economy, to be safe and to have a low impact. In this case, that means making recyclable packaging from recycled plastic.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

Laurine Friche – I’m proud of joining the CSR team of Albéa C&F because the challenges we face are enormous – and motivating!. We deal with so many different unique packs, and I am happy to have a direct role in finding new ways and coming up with innovative solutions. I feel like as a team, we can really make a difference.

What piece of advice would you share with young professionals out there looking to make an impact in packaging?

Laurine Friche – Things are about to change and we are only at the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey! Even if some groups like Albéa have been working on sustainable development for over 15 years, I believe we have only taken the first step. Young professionals can write the future of packaging and make the difference to improve the packaging industry. Being passionate and committed to your vision is key.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Future Leader?

Laurine Friche – It’s a great opportunity to meet players from across the packaging industry and discuss various issues. I wasn’t expecting it so I’m really happy! It means a lot to be selected alongside my colleague Mariia Baranova, CSR Project Leader at Albéa, so we can share this experience together.

You can hear more from Mariia Baranova and the other Future Leaders at Paris Packaging Week, held 17 & 18 January 2024 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris. Click here to register for your free visitor’s ticket today.


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