French personal care company L’Oreal has signed an agreement with Alibaba Group to switch to environmentally friendly packaging for all L’Oreal products sold in China within the next five months.

Aimed at reducing plastic waste, the deal was signed in the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in Beijing, China.

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Under the terms of the agreement, L’Oreal China will switch to Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable paper and zipper paper cartons or paper adhesives for all of its brands in an effort to reduce the use of plastic materials.

The cosmetics firm also aims to use only 100% recycled boxes by November.

Alibaba noted that the deal is part of its New Retail business, which is the company’s initiative to integrate online and offline retail operations.

“The upgrade of consumption is both an upgrade in quality of life, as well as consumer awareness.”

Through the partnership, the retailer intends to contribute to ‘green, healthy and sustainable social values’ in China.

Alibaba B2C marketplace Tmall head Jet Jing said: “The upgrade of consumption is both an upgrade in quality of life, as well as consumer awareness.”

Last May, Alibaba’s smart logistics division Cainiao formed a Green Brand Alliance with 13 L’Oreal brands, including Kiehl’s, Helena Rubenstein and Giorgio Armani.

Under the alliance, participants are required to commit to sustainable measures such as the use of biodegradable packaging materials.

Last month, Cainiao revealed plans to replace the traditional paper stickers on 40 billion parcels by 2020 by using e-shipping labels, a measure expected to save more than three million trees.

In May this year, L’Oréal founded the Sustainable Packaging Initiative for Cosmetics (SPICE), in partnership with environmental sustainability-consulting firm Quantis to promote sustainable packaging for cosmetics products across the industry.